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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2009): Services for the disabled - UK

Disabled plea for cash instead of care on the NHS


Daily Telegraph, Feb. 13th 2009, p. 4

Two disabled people have begun court proceedings against the NHS for discrimination and a violation of their right to respect for their private lives. The NHS has refused their previous requests for direct cash payments which they could use to fund private care in lieu of public healthcare services.

Elderly may have to care for disabled children

L. Cockcroft

Daily Telegraph, Feb. 2nd 2009, p. 12

Government is planning to move about 10,000 thousand people with serious learning difficulties or limited mobility out of NHS residential homes into the community. It is feared that the burden of caring for them will fall on their families, with social services unable to cover support costs.

Standing in the way of support?

K. Cherry

Professional Social Work, Feb. 2009, p. 22-23

The author presents a case study of the barriers faced by disabled mothers seeking help with childcare from social services and asks why social workers seem to act against the interests of vulnerable people.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Joint Committee on Human Rights

London: TSO, 2009 (House of Commons papers, session 2008/09: HC 93)

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was agreed in December 2006 and came into force on 3 May 2008. The Convention builds on existing international human rights instruments to 'promote, protect and ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities'. The UK was closely involved in negotiating and agreeing the UNCRPD and was one of its first signatories. The Committee see clear benefits in UK ratification; particularly because it sends a strong signal that the Government takes equality and the protection of human rights for people with disabilities seriously. However, this report makes a number of specific criticisms:

  • The Government intended to ratify by the end of 2008 but missed its deadline
  • A number of reservations and interpretative declarations - which would limit the effect of the UNCRPD in the UK - are under discussion within Government. These emerged at a relatively late stage and the Government has chosen not to publish draft texts.
  • It is not clear whether anyone within Government has challenged the necessity of the proposed reservations and interpretative declarations or their compatibility with the UNCRPD.
  • There has also been insufficient consultation with disabled people and their organisations about the proposed reservations and interpretative declarations.
  • The UK should ratify the UNCPRD as soon as possible.
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