“People with learning disabilities have the same human rights as everyone else. However, a growing number of people aren’t getting the basic support they need to live the kind of lives the rest of us take for granted – a situation which will become more acute as the number of people with learning disabilities living into old age increases.
“We hope the Government will use this budget to recognise and address this increasing demand for care. Research carried out by the Learning Disability Coalition shows that an extra £200 million a year is needed to maintain current service provision. A transfer of resources from the NHS of even 0.2% could help to make up this shortfall giving people with learning disabilities the support they need, improving their quality of life and alleviating the burden on related healthcare services.”
Along with 11 other major learning disability organisations known as the Learning Disability Coalition, United Response is asking for the Government to recognise that the increased numbers of people with a learning disability – due to people living longer and more babies with severe disabilities surviving – mean that extra money is urgently needed. Based on work done at the University of Lancaster, the Coalition has estimated that an extra £200 million a year is needed to maintain services at current level.
There are a million people in England with learning disabilities, of whom around a quarter receive some kind of help from their local social services. However, social services budgets are becoming increasingly stretched and the criteria used for determining who is entitled to public support are being constantly tightened. A survey carried out by the Coalition found for example that a third of respondents had had their daytime activities cut.
For more information please contact Sarah Bartlett or Jaime Gill in the United Response Press Office on 020 8246 5237/ 020 8246 5122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Notes to editors:
United Response is a top 100 charity operating in England and Wales, providing a range of support and services for more than 1,500 people with learning disabilities, mental health needs or physical disabilities. We employ over 2,000 people across the organisation and have won many awards for our pioneering work since being founded in 1973.
Our mission is to enable people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and physical disabilities to take control of their lives.
Our vision is a society where disabled people are equal participants and have access to the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
The services we provide depend on each person we work with. We can provide 24-hour support for people with profound physical needs, or just a few hours for those who need less support to live their lives. We can job coach someone into meaningful paid employment. We can provide outreach support for someone with a mental health need or help people who find it difficult to communicate by making information more accessible. The key to our success is that we work with each person to do the things they want to do, supporting them to communicate what they want and tell us how we are doing.
In support of our vision, we also campaign to improve the lives of people with disabilities in society. This may mean lobbying decision makers such as MPs to ensure that people’s voices are heard or it might mean working directly with disabled people so that they can be more directly engaged in the democratic process. We also work with employers to ensure that more people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and physical disabilities get a fair opportunity to work.
In 2008 alone, we were shortlisted as best employer in the Third Sector Excellence Awards and highly commended for our Annual Report. We also won a highly prestigious National Training Award for the investment we make in our staff. To find out more please visit www.unitedresponse.org.uk.
United Response Press Release, 22nd April 2009