This paper outlines Mencap's detailed response to the Draft Care and Support Bill 2012, based on a consultation with people with a learning disability, families, carers, experts and sector workers which established a true picture of social care services and identified areas for reform. The results showed the impact that social care support has on the daily life of many people with a learning disability, enabling people to live independently and play an active role in society. However, there are many areas which are not working well. The current social care system is failing many people with a learning disability and Mencap are concerned this could get worse, with increasing numbers of people with a learning disability needing care and support.
The policy recommendations outlined in this paper include: all individuals should be meaningfully engaged during their assessment and setting their care plan; everyone should have access to free independent advocacy during the assessment and care planning process; a legal definition of Continuing Health Care should be on the face of the bill to clarify what is expected from local authorities and health services in meeting care and support needs; the Draft Bill must address the urgent need for specific preventative services for people with a learning disability who live with parents aged 70 and over; the Government should introduce a national system of assessment to ensure the national eligibility criteria system works; and a duty on local authorities to keep a register for people with a learning disability to be maintained.