There was a good turn out with people from Greenwich DPAC, Metro GAD, Inclusion London, WinVisible and supporters.
Initially, the meeting was going to be called off without the Cabinet hearing the disabled people but there was an uproar and the Chair changed his mind and heard the statements of those who had requested to speak.
The lobbying to stop the proposal to charge disabled people for social care will continue. The proposal has just been delayed.
Following Contraversial Greenwich Council Proposals to Increase Charges to disabled people for adult social care METRO GAD, in Partnership with Greenwich DPAC, has Lead a Campaign to Oppose the Increases by Putting a Question to the Leaders of Greenwich Council at Question Time. Then METRO GAD set up a meeting on 7th October with Cllr Thorpe (leader of Greenwich Council) Cllr Lekau (lead Cllr on Health and Social care) & our 3 local MPs : Teresa Pearce, Clive Efford and Matthew Pennycook. We invited other Disabled People and Campaigners to join us including Greenwich DPAC (who helped by organising a meeting on July 22nd with Council Officer Rachel Karn and encouraged people to contact local Cllrs ) , WINVISIBLE (Who wrote an open letter to the Council) , Inclusion London (who have supported with advocacy and legal advice), Sisters of Frida & Independent Living Alternatives. Everyone gave very powerful statements about how council proposed increases in social care charges would negatively impact disabled people in Greenwich, their PA’s, family and Carers.
NOW we need you to support us by attending the crucial council cabinet meeting at 5.30 pm on Tuesday 22nd October at Woolwich Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich, London, SE18.
If you wish to register to ask a question /speak you must first register your intention with firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you there, with your PA’s, friends and family :Strength in Unity!
– No involvement of disabled peoples organisation’s before consultation.
By Anne Novis MBE
-No co-production work.
-No automatic accessible versions in Easy Read sent to clients with learning difficulties. Adult social care knows client’s access needs re communication.
-Many clients did not receive consultation pack.
-No PA’s or BSL Interpreters at forums, no expenses offered so disabled people could attend if needed extra care support, no travel expenses or child care costs offered. Therefore not accessible for all clients to attend.
– No case examples of possible multiple impact’s on one client.
-Extra information given at forums not automatically available for all clients in accessible formats to inform responses to consultation. Also in the funding info you did not outline funding you get from Health service which is significant.
-When stating what other boroughs doing you did not detail those who are not doing what you propose, ie Hammersmith and Fullham.
-Consultation info not sent to all people who could be affected from outset such as Carers, Personal Assistants, Care Agencies, Disabled peoples charities and organisations. An influx of people needing support to appeal charges, redundancies of staff employed as Carers or PA’s due to client’s not being able to afford multiple increased charges.
– No mention of clients who used to get Independent Living Fund.
– Your online consultation is not monitored for anything. Therefore anybody can respond agreeing to proposals, yet not be affected by them. You won’t know how many disabled people in receipt of care responded. Or how many people who are hostile towards disabled people may have used this format to perpetuate hostility, Hate crime, as so many view disabled people in receipt of benefits and services a drain on society and burdens. No monitoring of protected characteristics for EIA.
-No alternative offered instead of what’s proposed.
For example if everyone disagrees with a proposal what will you do? Such alternatives indicate how genuine a consultation is or not.
– There is a principle you should consult with an open mind, so how prepared are you to change your initial thinking? There is nothing that indicates this in your consultation.
– No mention of Government white paper on social care which raises threshold for care charges, whilst been postponed, it indicates that current thresholds are way too low and this information should be included in consultation.
Equality Impact Assessment
-Equality Impact Assessment not easily accessible on confusing website. Many of us tried to find it but could not, no Easy Read version either. Even local councillors could not find it. Found by asking head of social care.
– In first section of EIA you mention a HAS officers benchmarking exercise, in which states ‘some cases Greenwich charge less then other boroughs’. Yet missed out detail of those who also charge less or not at all.
– No mention of other consultations taking place alongside this one that will also impact disabled peoples finances such as Council Tax Discretionary grants removal.
– No mention of multiple impact of several proposals on one client.
For instance one person could be impacted by charges for care, PIP/DLA deduction, Telecare charge increase, admin fee and supported living fee and more.
– No impact identified re charges for supported living and sheltered housing. Yet due to costs this could lead to people needing to move to housing which does not charge, this impacts them and council. Or they may get in debt. As they are disabled people, some elderly, many with learning difficulties, impact and mitigation should be detailed.
– Cap on weekly care costs could mean residential care is cheaper and have detrimental impact on most ill and severely disabled people, losing independence, choice and control.
-Disability Related Expenses is far more then most realise, accessable information is not enough to mitigate impact. Clients will need at least six months to gather evidence of such costs to have fair assessment after being fully and accessibly informed of all costs that can be classed as DRE.
– Telecare service increase charge could cause people to get rid of this life saving service. Impacts those most at risk of falls, ill, disabled or unable to communicate well.