Press Release: The lives we want to lead
The Local Government Association (LGA) recently launched a nationwide consultation on how to pay for adult social care. The consultation, which has just closed, was seeking the views of people and organisations from across society on how best to pay for care and support for adults of all ages and their unpaid carers, and aimed to make the public a central part of the debate. The LGA intends to inform and influence the Government’s upcoming green paper and spending plans. It also intends to start a much-needed debate about how to shift the overall emphasis of our care and health system so that it focuses far more on preventative, community-based personalised care, which helps maximise people’s health, wellbeing and independence.
Our members at the Craftivism and Chat group responded to the LGA consultation and we sent a consultation response on behalf of Merton CIL. Our members told us that Local Government has a big role to play in improving health and wellbeing in local areas. However, our members were clear that this is a role which has to be shared with local Deaf and Disabled People and local communities. We also said that if the Government wants to fund social care sustainably for the long term, then they need to reframe the debate to one about investment in Disabled people’s potential and life chances, and provide proper mechanisms to challenge discrimination and disadvantage.
We have seen locally that much of the debate is framed around cost with local councillors referring to social care as a burden. In a recent local article the Leader of the Council is quoted as saying that “funding adult social care is the biggest strain on the council" and earlier this year it the CEO of Merton Council said “social care will be a constant financial burden on the council in the future.”
This kind of language and way of thinking is disappointing and unhelpful because it narrows the focus and discussion to being all about the cost of care needs. At the same time, cuts in services are also having a severe impact on the lives of Disabled people in Merton. The conversation has to move beyond cost. Disabled people are employers, and employees, we generate innovative solutions and uniquely effective models of support like peer-led solutions or direct payments. The economy of the entire care industry is driven by Disabled people. However, we will only be able to live the lives we want to lead by co-producing services; “nothing about us, without us”.
You can find out more about the LGA consultation here: https://www.local.gov.uk/about/news/lga-launches-own-green-paper-adult-social-care-reaches-breaking-point
You can read our full submission here (pdf document): Merton CIL Response to LGA