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Disabled people must not be left out of social care debate

NATIONAL disability charity, Sense, has responded to the Care Quality Commission’s ‘State of Care’ report, which expresses concerns over the future of care services due to growing pressures caused by increasingly complex demands, access and cost.

Sense, a charity which supports people with complex communication needs, is calling on the Government to protect the sector by ensuring that disabled people of working age and those with complex needs are represented in its upcoming social care green paper.

Kate Fitch, Head of Public Policy at national disability charity, Sense, said:

“Today’s CQC report clearly demonstrates how vital it is that the Government listens and responds to the needs of disabled people as it strives to find a solution for social care funding.

“The current social care debate has very much been centred on increasing demands from the ageing population; however, the reality is that over one third of those accessing social care services are under the age of 65 and there are thousands of disabled people of working age for whom care services provide a vital lifeline, allowing them to remain connected to their communities.

“The Government’s upcoming green paper promises to start the conversation about long term solutions to social care funding, but if it truly wishes to protect the sector it is crucial that the needs of disabled people are not left out of this debate. Unless these needs are an integral part of the Government’s plans for reform, we believe it will be impossible to find a sustainable solution, and that there is a genuine risk that we will sleepwalk into a crisis in social care in the near future.

“We look forward to working with the Government to ensure that the voices and needs of the people we support are on its social care agenda, and that a long term funding settlement is found to protect the care sector and ensure that high quality services remain available for all those who need them.”