Disabled children will face continued social and economic exclusion
unless their health services are improved, according to interim
findings of a major government inquiry into disability,
writes Haroon Ashraf.
The report by the Prime Minister’s Strategy
Unit attempts to identify practical ways to help disabled people
tackle the barriers and hurdles they face throughout life. It found
that the UK’s ten million disabled people fare less well than
their able-bodied counterparts.
The disabled are less likely to do well at school or college, less
likely to have a job, or own their own home. About half of the
families with disabled children are very poor, said the
Social and health services for the 320,000 disabled children and
their families are under funded and in short supply, it found. The
services, currently based on a postcode lottery, vary widely in
quality and suffer from a lack of shared information and
coordination, said the report.
It found that they suffer adverse social outcomes, particularly at
key transition points of their lives, such as moving between
full-time education and employment.
Among its aims the government hopes the study will help set minimum
standards of care for disabled people with providers held
accountable if services fail.
The government wants interested parties to comment on the interim
report and, with their feedback, will produce a final report later