Learning difficulties services lack choice

People with learning difficulties still do not have enough
choice and support to help them live independently, an inspection
report published this week reveals.

The Commission for Social Care and Inspection looked at learning
difficulties services in 12 local authorities and found that they
varied widely.

Despite improvements in advocacy, information services and
assessment and care management, more needs to be done to promote
independence and choice, the report concludes.

“All around the country there are some common problems – a lack of
choice in services, lack of specialist staff and still not enough
forward-planning and co-ordination between agencies,” said CSCI
chair Denise Platt.

“Not enough people with learning disabilities are helping to shape
services and receiving services which support them to be

Although most councils now have advocacy services, often they are
overworked, underfunded and fail to meet the needs of ethnic
minorities, people with high support needs, children becoming
adults, and those in remote areas, inspectors find.

All the councils are introducing person-centred planning, but care
plans tend to fit what services can provide, the report says. Many
reviews are overdue and few people receive direct payments. 


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