Learning Disability Coalition: £200m annual shortfall in services

The Learning Disability Coalition today warned the government that there is a £200m annual shortfall in social care services for the client group in England.

The coalition of 12 sector organisations has written to the Treasury ahead of this month’s Budget with evidence that spending has failed to keep pace with the growth in the number of people with learning disabilities needing care.

It cited figures produced by the coalition last December showing that the number of adults with learning disabilities needing care would increase by between 3% and 5% a year from 2009-26.

Social care not government priority

Andrew Lee, director of self-advocacy group People First and co-chair of the coalition, said: “Social care – and particularly social care for people with learning disabilities – just isn’t a priority for the government.”

He pointed to the fact that the government was increasing NHS funding by 4% a year in real terms from 2008-11, compared to 1% for local government in England.

Lee added: “Finding the £200m we need from the NHS budget of £106bn must be possible. And in the long-run it would save money by preventing people needing more expensive care due to neglect.”

A coalition-sponsored early day motion in the House of Commons has won the support of 176 MPs.

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