GDA urge councillors to take a stand for Human Rights
Glasgow's senior Social Work officials are today seeking approval for a system which fails disabled people, violates our rights and hampers Glasgow's progress towards a fairer, thriving future.
Social Work Heads of service told GDA and others: "We are past the point now where people can expect to live independently in their own homes."
For the first time, Glasgow Social Work’s austerity-driven decision-making and its impacts on human rights have been made transparent, requiring public approval. GDA is today urging our elected members to reject this paper, to drive forwards a more open and meaningful dialogue about the future of Social Care funding in Glasgow.
In June our Integration Joint Board refused to approve the paper, concerned that Equalities Impacts had not been considered, and that financial concerns capping individuals' budgets could lead to forced institutionalisation.
6 months later, these concerns are still being overlooked - and tomorrow the paper returns to the Board with little substantial change beyond 'more neutral language'.
An Equalities Impact Assessment has been done based on national statistics, with no reference to the readily available local expertise of GDA's 4500 members or our ongoing engagement and research.
There is no mention of the UN Article 19: Rights to Social Care Supports and Independent Living. The risk that disabled people could be forced to move into 'group living' arrangements is not acknowledged to be a Human Rights breach but is described as potentially 'unsettling', requiring staff to be sensitive.
150 GDA members met with Glasgow's Convenor for Health and Social Care and Chair of the Integrated Joint Board, Cllr Mhairi Hunter, to share their own experiences of the impacts of ongoing social care cuts.
A survey completed by 150 disabled people at this event showed experiences of Social Care in Glasgow fall far short of national ambitions, rights and legislation:
do not get the support they need to stay safe and well
do not get the support they need to be included in the community
do not feel valued as part of society
less than 30%
feel they are treated with dignity and respect when accessing services.
of those who do get social care rated it average, poor or very poor
The UN and Audit Scotland have both reported that rights to choice, control, independent living and self-directed support are not adequately resourced.
Disabled people's equality, participation, health and wellbeing is held back by barriers and inadequate funding - and instead of naming the problem to build collaborative solutions, disabled people's needs are denied, disbelieved and erased.
A National dialogue has now begun to look at how the Scottish Government can help ease the social care crisis and protect rights.
GDA is hopeful that at this crucial juncture, our allies and political representatives can take a stand for human rights; can create the conditions to open up dialogue for a better solution; and give strength to the belief that as a city we can and we must do better. Glasgow's 150,000 disabled people deserve better - and Glasgow deserves better.