Blair consultant hints at change in law to give disabled people right to choose

A legal right for disabled people to choose to live in the
community instead of residential care could be introduced

The possibility of a legal entitlement to independent living was
raised at the conference by Jenny Morris, an independent consultant
who has been working for the prime minister’s strategy unit.

On the unit’s work to tackle the barriers to independent living,
Morris said such a right would transform arguments about the cost

“We also ideally want an entitlement not to live in residential
care – a right not to be in residential care,” she said. “If there
was a right to choose, that would under-cut all the financial

Morris said the strategy unit had recognised that the current
legislative framework did not provide for genuine independent
living and that help varied between areas.

She said there needed to be a system that addressed all aspects of
need “so there was only one place to go to have your needs

Morris said the strategy unit was talking to government departments
to sign them up to its agenda and the message was getting through.

“I think the strategy unit’s aims are the same as those of the
people in this room,” she said.

The unit’s recommendations should be submitted to the prime
minister later this year.

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