People with learning difficulties left out of decisions

Many people with learning difficulties are still being prevented
from influencing decisions about the services provided for them,
according to charity Mencap.

A survey by the charity shows that partnership boards introduced
under the ‘Valuing People’ white paper are being marginalised
because they have no real power.

The boards are required to have at least two people with a
learning difficulty and two carers as members, but Mencap said
major decisions about cuts were still being made by social services
departments without the boards’ agreement.

Mencap’s head of external relations David Congdon said:
“Although partnership boards have made some progress, it is very
disappointing to learn that they are not more visible to the
public. Little has changed in people’s lives because local
authorities still see learning disability services as such a low

The survey shows just 27 per cent of partnership boards are open
to the public.

The survey ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ is


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