Self Direct Support and Council Cuts

Back to all Motions

2009 National Disabled Members' Conference
9 July 2009

This Conference welcomes the Government’s Personalisation Agenda and the increased choice and control it will give many disabled and older people over how their individual personal and domestic needs are met. However, we are very concerned that many Local Authorities are already using the introduction to Self Direct Support (SDS) to make cuts to the services they provide, both in terms of assessment staff and those provide Care Services to people in their own homes. We do not believe that SDS will work if funding for these services is reduced.

In particular, this Conference is concerned that “traditional ” Home Care Services provide by Local Authorities should not automatically be cut on the basis that all disabled people will choose to employ their own Personal Assistants. People need to have a choice to meet their own needs and circumstances. There will still need to be the safety net of a statutory home care service to be available if required, such as when personal assistants leave unexpectedly, go off sick or initially whilst individual budgets or direct payments are set up, Personal Assistants are recruited, etc.

In some parts of the country, the introduction of Self Assessment is leading to a reduction in the numbers of qualified Social Workers and experienced unqualified Care Assessors, replacing them with less qualified/experienced Service Advisor – type posts.

Disabled people should have advice and support from suitably qualified/experienced workers.

This Conference calls upon the National Disabled Members’ Committee to work with the NEC and the Local Government Service Group to:

1.Ensure that responses to the Government’s Personalisation Agenda include the fact that whilst disabled members support the proposals to increase the choice of options available, it is not us who are calling for jobs to be cut in local authority services.

2.Highlight the importance of maintaining services alongside new innovative ones, including the need for a backup service for people employing their own personal assistants or relying on private agencies and for services to be more flexible so as to give disabled people more choice over how they receive them.

3.Raise concerns about the practice of replacing qualified Social Workers and experienced un-qualified Care Assessors with less qualified and experienced Service Advisor posts.

4.Produce guidance for Local Government Branches on how to campaign and negotiate with their employers as the Personalisation Agenda is rolled out.