Parent-carers’ confidence in the quality of disabled children’s health and social care services is at an all-time low with almost half saying they knew of plans to cut social care or health services in their area. That's the result of a new survey out today from the Disabled Children's Partnership campaign (of which SNJ are official supporters)
The DCP is a coalition of more than 60 charities campaigning for action to address the growing crisis in health and social care for disabled children. DCP campaign manager is Stephen Kingdom, who was formerly the Deputy Director for SEND at the Department for Education during the development of the SEND reforms up until implementation. You may remember him from earlier posts on SNJ during that time. Today, in his new campaigning role for children with SEND, he's written about the new survey the DCP have carried out.
Parent carers believe their disabled children’s health and social care services at all-time low
Today (Thursday 28 June) the Disabled Children’s Partnership has published the results of its survey into changes to health and social care services over the past few years. And it makes pretty grim reading.
In April and May this year, we conducted a short survey of families of disabled children to find out their views on how the quality of health and social care services had changed over the past few years, what had been happening to services in their area and what plans were for the future. The response to the survey shows that parent-carers’ confidence in the quality of disabled children’s health and social care services is at an all-time low.
Three-quarters of the 1,500 family members who responded to the survey, said that the quality of health services to support their children where they live had grown worse in the past few years. The picture was hardly any better for social care, where almost two thirds (65%) felt that the quality of social care was in a similar decline.
The survey findings suggest that things will only get worse: almost half (45%) of respondents said that they were aware of imminent plans to reduce social and health care services for families with disabled children in their local area. The survey shows that cuts to local authority and health services are – unsurprisingly - having an impact on the quality of provision disabled children and their families receive.
Parents tell us a whole range of factors affect the quality of services, including waiting months or longer for important appointments; poor staff training and knowledge about additional needs; vital short break services being cut back or closed; and lack of availability of adaptations and specialist equipment.
We're calling on the government to protect funding for disabled children
This is why we are calling for we are calling on central government to provide ministerial leadership for disabled children and provide dedicated funding for disabled children’s services. You can read our full call to Government here.
Tania's note: Stephen will be back periodically on SNJ as our newest columnist, on behalf of the Disabled Children's Campaign and the charity, Contact.