SASH parent and campaigner Mary Langan:
Now that the period for consultation over Haringey Council’s proposed programme of cuts in adult social care services, including closures of residential facilities and day centres, has come to an end, SASH is continuing to highlight pressing concerns facing users of these services and their families and carers.
We have challenged Council leaders and officers to answer some urgent questions:
- ‘What steps has the Council taken to develop appropriate alternatives to current daycentre provisions, for both service users and for their families and carers? What guarantee is there that the burden of care will not be pushed back onto individuals and families in the community?
- ‘How can a model of social care developed for individuals with transient physical disabilities provide satisfactory long-term care for people with life-long developmental disorders, for whom the maintenance of a stable and consistent care programme is essential to prevent functional deterioration and mental health problems?
- ‘How can the rights of individuals to ‘needs-based’ assessments be reconciled with the Council’s commitment to drastic cuts in social care spending? What sort of training will commissioners receive to enable them to make complex assessments – and will service users and families have the right to appeal?’
SASH has submitted three documents in an attempt to press the Council to justify its proposals or to step back from forcing through cuts and closures which will have damaging consequences for vulnerable individuals.
- Questioning the evidence: focusing on the Council’s inappropriate promotion of a ‘reablement’ model for people with autism and learning disabilities;
- Unanswered questions: focusing on the proposed day centre closures;
- Bringing reality to Haringey’s new social care model: focusing on the gulf between the needs of individuals with autism and learning disabilities and Council plans (read all three documents below).
The National Autistic Society has also submitted a report based on a detailed survey of the impact of Council plans to close the dedicated autism service at Roundway. Service users and their families describe their fears of the ‘devastating’ consequences of closures for their health and wellbeing. NAS chief executive Mark Lever says that he is ‘extremely concerned’ about the proposed closures and questions whether the Council is fulfilling its legal obligations to vulnerable individuals with social care needs.
The Consultation Reports and the proposed cuts to our services will be discussed at the Haringey Council Cabinet meeting on 10th November at 6.30pm at the Council Offices in Wood Green. SASH will be addressing the Cabinet meeting. There will be a lobby and a demonstration starting at 5.30pm. We hope that all our friends and supporters will turn out again to let Councillors know how widespread is the opposition to these devastating cuts to services for vulnerable people.
We will keep on fighting for decent quality services.