Disability adds to social and economic exclusion, report finds

    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
    report.

    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
    this year.

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