More MS news articles for June 2003
Disabled Care Shortcomings
Jun 5, 2003
Multiple Sclerosis Society
Many disabled people have problems securing services when they need
them and the care they are offered often limits their opportunities for
personal development and social integration. These are among the headline
findings of a two-year inquiry by the charity, John Grooms, into the future
of young disabled people.
The inquiry found:
nearly 80% of local authorities limit the cost of community care packages
and 75% of them use the cost of alternative residential care as the ceiling.
there are wide discrepancies between outcomes for disabled people with
similarly high needs, depending on where they live and when their support
packages were first set up.
there is a shortage of services that provide emotional support, mentoring
and advocacy. Young people are often not involved in planning for their
future, particularly if they have communication and/or cognitive difficulties.
needs assessments often focus on the services available rather than individual
support requirements, choices and aspirations.
John Groom says these problems are because:
services are poorly co-ordinated and inflexible. Rules governing assessment,
provision, costs, and equipment supply and maintenance differ between departments
and for age groups and this makes it difficult to obtain the right services
at the right time or to secure continuity of care as needs change.
the grave shortage of information about the numbers and characteristics
of disabled people and the impact of medical and technological advances
on survival, prognoses, symptoms and needs.
individual needs assessments carried out by local authorities vary in depth,
scope and frequency. Disabled people are not always adequately consulted
and they have no right to appeal.
there are no routine procedures in place for measuring the efficacy or
suitability of given services for individuals or disabled populations that
could be used to inform the supply of services now and in the future.
there are significant resource shortages, particularly of residential places
for young disabled people and of wheelchair accessible homes.
more care workers, nurses and therapists are desperately needed.
Around 50 service providers, voluntary and disability organisations were
consulted by John Grooms. The full report and a summary of, 'Where do you
think you're going?', can be accessed at http://www.johngrooms.org.uk
restricted budgets are leading to tighter needs criteria and the imposition
of cheaper but less appropriate forms of care.
Copyright © 2003, Multiple Sclerosis Society