1 in 4 adults with a learning disability stuck at home due to cuts to day services says mencap report


A report from the learning disability charity mencap, based on data from a freedom of information request to 152 local authorities, an online survey of 280 people with learning disabilities and their carers and a survey of nearly 200 professionals suggests that nearly a third of local authorities have closed day services in the last three years resulting in 1 in 4 adults with a learning disability remaining at home.

The report suggests that cuts and increased charging have had a major impact on people with learning disabilities resulting in many left feeling isolated and cut off from communities.

The report finds:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 local authorities have closed day services in the last three years
  • 1 in 5 of those who have closed day services are not offering alternatives
  • 57% of people with learning disability known to services do not receive any day service, compared to 48% in 2009/10.
  • 3 in 5 local authorities have increased day services charges by an average of 70%.

They also found that 9 in 10 respondents with a learning disability felt that had not been adequately consulted about changes. 64% were not asked for their views at all.

In a press release to accompany the publication of the report, Mencap’s chief Executive, Mark Goldring said:

It is deeply worrying that progress towards greater participation of disabled people in the community and mainstream society risks being undone by a failing system that has long been ignored and is now creaking under the pressure of increased demand and budget cuts.”

You can read the full report here: Stuck at Home, the impact of day services cuts on people with a learning disability,  Mencap, 2012

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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