Future care must be about people’s power, says Greig

Each English council will have to increase spending on learning disability services by £1m every year for the next decade to provide good quality care, delegates heard.

Co-national director for learning disabilities Rob Greig made the comments as he gave his backing to Community Care’s A Life Like Any Other campaign, which was formally launched at the conference.

He described the future model of care as being about “people power”, which he promised would be more than just a “series of experiments”.

Greig was joined on the platform to launch the campaign by his fellow co-director, Nicola Smith, who has learning disabilities, Andrew Lee, director of user-led group People First (Self Advocacy), Eve Rank, a consultant with Inspired Services, and Mencap chief executive Jo Williams.

Earlier, care services minister Ivan Lewis pledged to give as “much support as possible” to the campaign.

Greig said that society was changing rapidly and the public would no longer tolerate the institutional model of care for older people and people with learning disabilities that had existed in the past.

But he admitted that the plethora of initiatives aimed at giving service users greater control over their care, including direct payments and individual budgets, had created confusion.

“Is it any wonder that people have been confused about what we are trying to achieve,” he asked, adding: “We need to make it clear what we mean by people power and begin to turn it into a reality.”

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