Greenwich social care

Open letter to Greenwich Council

In light of the government’s recent announcements, signalling a steep rise in coronavirus cases across London accompanied by an increase in hospital admissions we are writing to highlight several issues that have come to our attention over recent weeks.

It is incredibly disappointing to learn that Greenwich Council has gone ahead with its decision to increase social care charges despite the awful impact of covid-19 on Deaf and Disabled people.  The coronavirus pandemic has hit disabled people hard and also exposed and amplified the long-standing structural inequalities and discrimination that Deaf and Disabled people have experienced. The dreadful disparities are reflected in the grim and tragic data recently released by the Office for National Statistics, which revealed that two in three people who have died from coronavirus are disabled.

In this harsh environment, it is inexcusable that Greenwich Council has implemented its plans to increase charges which will inevitably lead to more unnecessary pain and misery for many Greenwich residents. Public health and social care teams in Greenwich are undoubtedly aware of an increase in risk a ‘second wave’ will have on disabled people who disproportionately experience socioeconomic inequalities, poverty, debt, unemployment, and food insecurity.

Surveys and research have revealed that many Disabled people have faced increased costs since the outbreak of the pandemic. People are being forced to spend more money on food, by having to shop in more expensive supermarkets or high street shops or order food deliveries online which are often accompanied by a delivery charge.  As autumn and winter descend many will face higher utility charges and some will face the unenviable choice of having to decide between heating the home and putting food on the table.

We are also concerned that Greenwich council is taking away increases in benefits service users have received since April in the form of care charges. Finally, service users in Greenwich are telling us that the council is engaging in ‘cold call’ care reviews. In other words, not giving any notice, or an appointment time which means Disabled people are unable to prepare or arrange advocacy and support and therefore undermining choice, control and independent living.

We have been contacted by one Greenwich resident whose care package has been reduced during the lockdown as she is not going out. Moreover, her care charges were increased with a warning that will be another increase in September. She received no information on Disability Related Expenditure and now feels that she has no choice but to stop all care in September.

Another resident was admitted to the hospital and sent home with no care even though she was assessed as needing it. She was told that the care would be free for six weeks. She was shocked, therefore, to receive a hefty bill and so she stopped her care package.

In light of the awful consequences of covid-19, it is unfair and unjust that Greenwich council is taxing disabled people to make up for central government revenue shortfalls and inexcusable in the current environment that it has gone ahead with its plans to increase social care charges.

*       Anne Novis MBE, Chair Inclusion London, Greenwich DPAC, and Greenwich Direct Payment recipient

*      Sue Elsegood, Metro Gad Management Committee

*      Eleanor Lisney, Greenwich DPAC, Direct Payment recipient

*      Claire Glassman, WinVisible.

*      Jenny Hurst, Greenwich DPAC and Direct Payment recipient

*      Jon Abrams, Inclusion London

*      John Ley, Metro Gad Management Committee

*       Yannick Nyah, SEN Parent & BME Volunteers CIC Director

*      Kate Brown (Direct Payment recipient)

Greenwich social care

Working Together : Direct Payments meeting schedule – Update August 6th, 2020

For Direct Payment users and all those interested in Direct Payments (message from the Council’s Direct Payment )

How to get involved  

Come to a meeting: Just turn up to any of the virtual meetings below, if you’re happy to use Zoom. You’re bound to meet other Direct Payment users and learn something as well as getting your voice heard.

Co-production Calendar

Late Summer/Autumn 2020.

Reset Co-production meeting:

We’d like to invite you all to a meeting to discuss the question of how the Council needs to work with Direct Payment users in future, and what is important to work together on.
The meeting will be jointly chaired between the Council and a Direct Payment user. The meeting is not for solving any individual problems you are having with Direct payments. It is for working out together what a good service would look like, and what might need to change for us to achieve that.

Wednesday August 12th, 2020 2pm to 4pm

Write to us: If you prefer, write down your thoughts about what a good Direct Payment Service looks like, and send them to Direct Payments Co-production, Care Brokerage Team, The Woolwich Centre, 35 Wellington Street, London SE18 6HQ. Your thoughts will be shared with the Co-production Steering group (see below).

Join the Co-production Steering Group: This small group now meets monthly and will “steer” how co-production works and keep the Council accountable for agreed actions and changes. Right now, there are six Direct Payment users and four Council officers in the steering group. We’re looking to expand the group and we are really keen to hear from you if you’re interested in getting involved. You would need to come to a Zoom meeting on Friday afternoons each month. No experience needed- just the willingness to work as a group to achieve positive change. If you would like to join the Steering Group,  email and give your contact details for the zoom link.

Peer Support Group: Direct payment users from Metro GAD and Greenwich DPAC are starting a regular peer support group on Zoom. This is a great chance to meet other Direct Payment users, exchange ideas and support each other. Council staff will not be at the meetings

Tuesday 25th August 2-3.30pm

Zoom details will be sent to you on the Monday before each meeting.

Tuesday 22nd September 2-3.30pm

Zoom details will be sent to you on the Monday before each meeting.

Tuesday 20th October 2-3.30pm

Zoom details will be sent to you on the Monday before each meeting.

Tuesday 17th November 2-3.30pm

Zoom details will be sent to you on the Monday before each meeting.

Tuesday 15th December 2-3.30pm

Zoom details will be sent to you on the Monday before each meeting.

Direct Payments advice sessions: Council staff will run this six-weekly advice session on Zoom. We will pull in questions from the peer support group, questions that often come to our duty lines, and there may be a chance to ask your own question at the end. 

Wednesday 16th September 2-3pm

Zoom details will be sent to you on the day before each meeting.

Wednesday 28th October 2-3.30pm

Zoom details will be sent to you on the day before each meeting.

Wednesday 9th December 2-3.30pm

Zoom details will be sent to you on the day before each meeting.

What does co-production mean? It means working together.  A fuller definition has been agreed by several groups who have been involved in co-production:

 “a meeting of minds born out of mutual respect, coming together to find a shared solution. In practice it involves people who use services being consulted, included and working together with the service provider, from the start to the end of any project that affects them.

 In this way decision makers and Disabled residents work together in an active way to plan, design and review policy and services that affect Disabled people’s everyday lives, to remove barriers that prevent Disabled people having control and self-direction over their own active and healthy lives”

 Who is involved in co-production?  We hope you will be part of this! So far, we are a small group of Direct Payment users who are keen for things to change for the better, working with Direct payment officers. Some of us are members of groups representing Disabled People, (Metro GAD and Greenwich Disabled People Against Cuts).

We want this group to get bigger and represent a diverse group of Direct Payment users, so let us know if you wish to get involved.

How to use Zoom: If you haven’t used Zoom before, don’t worry. You can get Zoom on a smartphone, tablet or laptop or if you are not online, we’ll send dial in details for you to join on the phone. It’s free to join meetings. Here’s a useful guide from Learning Disability Wales to getting set up and getting the best out of Zoom.


#covid-19 Greenwich social care

PA /carer letters, requests for PPE, and ‘vulnerable listing’

Disabled people in the #RBG who are on Direct Payments should have recieved a letter allowing and stating names of Key workers (PAs and Carers) to travel to provide essential services for the disabled and vulnerable Individual’s (with photo identity). If you have not, contact your direct payments office.

For those disabled people who need Personal Protective Equipment – requests for PPE – as appropriate PPE should be used and then disposed of, the council said that they do have stocks and ask that if you require further then please complete and return the attached form to


Get coronavirus support as a clinically extremely vulnerable person

Here is link to register if you have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), – register and tell us whether or not you need support.

You may have received a letter from the NHS telling you that you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, or been contacted by your GP or hospital clinician. If this has not happened, contact your GP or clinician after you register with this service.

It may take time for any support offered through this service to arrive. Wherever possible you should continue to rely on friends, family and wider support to help you meet your needs.

You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.

please also read Chris Fry from Fry Law

Don’t Share the ‘Vulnerable People’ Register

I understand that Supermarkets need a hand in working out who their disabled customers are, in order to make long overdue reasonable adjustments for them. But this is not the solution. There are 14 Million disabled people in the UK, qualifying for reasonable adjustments of one sort or another, but this register will only assist an anticipated 10% of disabled people.

So not only is this a data breach, it doesn’t help the majority of disabled people trying to access supermarket services. It potentially allows Supermarkets to believe that it only has to help people on the register – which puts them in breach of the Equality Act 2010 obligations to make reasonable adjustments. We will provide letters to assist in challenging supermarkets later today!

Finally, is Government happy to flag you as a vulnerable person to allow people you don’t know, and who may not be DBS checked to know where you live and what your disabilities are??

Greenwich social care

Greenwich #RBG Coronavirus COVID-19: Latest updates

Main link

See For Benefits and hardship support

For supermarket hours

For Volunteering and support for vulnerable residents

To get help
If you need help because you are vulnerable and self-isolating, and have not got a family member, friend or neighbour who can help, our volunteers could provide support with:

  • collecting / delivering prescriptions
  • delivering essential food packages
  • connecting you to local community services.

Contact us to request support:
Tel: 0800 470 4831

Greenwich social care

Changes to charges for Adult Social Care services delayed due to COVID19

In case you are not aware yet, here is the letter for Royal Borough of Greenwich Council on the

Delay to changes in the way we charge for Adult Social Care services.

Due to the current and rapidly changing situation with Coronavirus, the Council has taken the decision to postpone planned changes to social care contributions which were agreed by the Council cabinet in January.

We recognise that this is a stressful time for people who have social care needs and therefore this is not the right time to make such a change.

During this period Council staff are focusing on making sure that essential services are maintained to older and disabled people with care and support needs, and that they are available to provide advice and support.

At present, I can tell you that the changes to social care contribution social care charging will be postponed until September.  We will review this date in July and write to you again in the first week of August to either extend the postponement or confirm the date the changes will happen. Please note, your contribution may still change if your financial situation changes. We will write to you to tell you if that’s the case.

If you have any queries about this letter, please email the team at or call and leave a voicemail on 020 8921 3233. A financial assessment officer will call you back with an answer to your query within 3 working days.

Yours sincerely

Sarah McClinton

Director of Health and Adult Services

Royal Borough of Greenwich

Heres the article on this from the News Shopper (24/3/2020)

9 people in group photo, 5 wheelchair users, 6 women, 3 men, all Caucasian one East Asian, 2 kneeling up front holding banner 'Greenwich Disabled People Against Cuts ' logo
campaigners working for Disabled people in Greenwich borough – including Inclusion London, Metro GAD, Greenwich DPAC, and Winvisible

Greenwich social care

Dates for your diary for relevant council meetings on social care charges

Further to the postponement of the Healthier Communities and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Panel meetings undertaking pre-decision scrutiny of Social Care Charges, it is confirmed that 2 meetings have been scheduled as follows:

Meeting 1 – 6.30pm on Wednesday 8 January 2020, in Committee Rooms 4 & 5, Woolwich Town Hall.  This will be to receive evidence from Officers, Greenwich Residents and stakeholders.

Meeting 2 – 6.30pm on Thursday 9 January 2020, in Committee Rooms 4 & 5, Woolwich Town Hall.  This will enable Members an opportunity to deliberate and agree recommendations and comment to be put forward to Cabinet that is taking place on 22 January 2020.

The key areas that Members will seek evidence on, particularly from Greenwich residents, is around impact and hardship.  Evidence provided to Cabinet on 22 October 2019 will be published as part of the Agenda for the January meetings. Therefore, if you have already given/provided evidence, there will be no need to resubmit this.  You are of course, welcome to attend the meetings and provide additional comment.

If you wish to attend, you should confirm your attendance, listing any additional need so that you can be included in the speakers list for the 8 January 2020 meeting.  If you are unable to attend but wish to provide written representations, please email them to Gurdeep Sehmi, Corporate Governance Manager by email –

Group of people on a pavement, some in wheelchairs, some carrying banners and placards
Greenwich disabled people putting up a front against social care charges outside Woolwich Town Hall

Greenwich social care

Campaign starting

 See Tom Bull’s article in The News Shopper

We don’t understand the consultation that wants us to pay for our care packages.. What does it mean? We already bear the brunt of the Austerity impact – we are in a Labour council…

– disabled in #RBG (Royal Borough of Greenwich)


 Welcome to DPAC Greenwich! This campaign group started up due to a local issue, the social care consultation charges

Greenwich Disabled People Against Cuts has been established in response to a recent council consultation to fees and charges paid for care.
Campaigners say increases would plunge some of the neediest people in the borough into unbearable financial circumstances, with some not being able to avoid their care.

Join our campaign to stop the changes – here is the membership form

or send an email to greenwichdpac(at)gmail dot com

twitter: @GreenwichDPAC