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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2003): Services for the Disabled - UK

ARE HEALTH AND EDUCATION TALKING TO EACH OTHER? PERCEPTIONS OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN WITH SPEECH AND LANGUAGE NEEDS

S Band and others

European Journal of Special Education Needs, vol. 17, 2002, p.211-227

Groups of parents were interviewed about their perception of the extent and nature of collaboration existing between agents of health and education. During the final stage of the study, parents joined managers and practitioners from the two agencies in discussion groups aimed at generating innovative ideas for facilitating future collaboration. Emphasising their wish for a partnership arrangement with professionals, some parents highlighted communication breakdowns between themselves and professionals. They perceived a lack of transparency in the process of assessment and provision of speech and language therapy, voicing concerns about continuity of care, particularly at the transition stage between primary and secondary education.

BREAKTHROUGH

H Weatherly and others

Community Care, Nov 7th-13 2002, p.34-35

Research suggests that paying foster families who offer respite care for disabled children improves services.

FARES UNFAIRNESS

D Brindle

Guardian Society, November 13th 2002, p.111

A survey of local authorities has found wide variation in whether people with learning disabilities are given free or cut-price bus travel on the same basis as the physically disabled. Councils are left free to make their own interpretation of 'disabled'.

A GLOBAL MOVEMENT

J Snell

Community Care, Nov 7th-13th 2002, p.26-28

Self-advocacy groups in the UK both campaign nationally for the civil rights of people with learning difficulties and help them make choices at the individual level. Extra funding was put in by the Department of Health following the Valuing People White Paper, but there is a need for more regular financial support from local authorities.

RESIDENTIAL CARE IN THE COMMUNITY FOR ADULTS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY: NEEDS, CHARACTERISTICS AND SERVICES

J Mansell and others

Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, vol. 46, 2002, p.625-633

Study aimed to assess the needs and characteristics of residents and features of all the residential homes provided by an English national charity. Assessments of adaptive behaviour, problem behaviour and social impairment were completed by staff who knew residents well. Information about costs and staffing were provided from central records. A significant proportion of residents were found to have care needs relating to their skills, their behaviour and their social abilities. Residents with these needs are dispersed throughout the services. This means that a very high proportion of services require staff with advanced skills. Current national plans do not adequately address this need and case management arrangements may encourage the recreation of more institutional services.

SAME DIFFERENCE? OLDER PEOPLE'S ORGANISATIONS AND DISABILITY ISSUES

M Priestley and P Rabiee

Disability and Society, vol. 17, 2002, p.597-611

Paper explores the potential for greater alliance between the disability movement and older people's organisations in Britain. Article identifies common areas of concern including independent living, accessible housing, transport, social support, incomes and access to health and social care.

SPECIALIST HEALTH SERVICES FOR PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY IN SCOTLAND

E Smiley and others

Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, vol. 46, 2002, p.585-593

A questionnaire was sent to each of the 15 primary care trusts/health boards which provide services to people with intellectual disability (ID) in Scotland, which included questions on ID health services and staffing levels. A response rate of 100% was achieved. The results show wide variations in the type of services provided in each locality. Only three services have completed the process of resettlement of people with ID from long stay hospitals in the community. There was also a wide-ranging variability in the number of beds/day places and professionals employed per 100,000 population per trust.

WORST OF BOTH WORLDS

N Begum and J Morris

Community Care, Oct 31-Nov 6th 2002, p.36

Discusses lack of support services available to physically disabled people with mental health problems.

"YOUNG CARERS" AND DISABLED PARENTS: TIME FOR A CHANGE OF DIRECTION?

T Newman

Disability and Society, vol. 17, 2002, p.613-625

Despite the important work done by young carer services in raising the profile of families affected by impairment and illness, a number of unintended consequences have occurred. Many disabled parents have felt stigmatised and disempowered by the assumption that their impairments are seriously affecting the welfare of their children. A preoccupation with the rights of the children has diverted attention and resources from meeting the needs of families. Children's capacity to resist and recover from adversities may have been weakened by a disproportionate emphasis on their vulnerability and the inevitability of harm.

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