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Stop Cuts to Social Care Budget which will erode Legal Rights and Protections for Glasgow’s disabled and older people.

This morning (Wednesday 22nd March), members of Glasgow City’s HSCP Integrated Joint Board will be asked to approve an astonishing £41m slash to vital social work services, including social care.

Cuts to disabled people’s lifeline services include:
• £2.339m cut to Self-Directed Support Budget for Adults and Older People
• £0.901m cut to Care at Home and Mainstream Home Care Services
• £3.794m cut to staffing across Community Health Teams
• £2m cut to Purchased Care Home Budgets

To rub salt in the wounds, proposals also outlined increasing social care charges to those using services as a way of generating income for the city.

Consecutive cuts, without opposition to the human rights breaches they facilitate, is an untenable position by the Glasgow City IJB which will decimate disabled people’s lives.

Key Facts
Disabled people are disproportionately reliant on health and social care services and yet have borne the brunt of progressive cuts to services throughout austerity, and cliff-edge closures during Covid-19.
The pandemic emergency meant saw 1884 disabled people in Glasgow having social care packages cut. Despite the understandable cause, there was a devastating impact on many with people describing feeling confused, let down and feeling extremely vulnerable. Many packages have not been reinstated in part or at all.
83% of GDA members receiving social care support have reported that they do not get the support they need when they need it to live independently.
Many GDA members have gone months or years without a shower, are met with extremely long waiting times, get care visits cut and are treated without compassion or dignity.
Further cuts will have a brutal, dehumanising and catastrophic impact on disabled people’s lives and their ability to live independently and have care that meets their basic needs.
All of this has knock on impacts for families and will increase poverty and lead to poorer life outcomes for example if forced to give up employment to provide care.

A survey to 250 GDA members in May 2022 found that there is already a dearth of unmet need in social care in Glasgow:
• 92% had needs or tasks that they required help with on a day to day basis
• Only 13% received social care support
• 58% relied on family and friends as they were unable to access social care support
• 86% of all respondents cited receiving practical support from GDA.

“I get put to bed at 8 o’clock. Sometimes when it’s still light outside. My carers shifts have already been cut short and I’m already asked to do without care shifts to get me washed or fed during holidays. We cannot cope with more cuts, there will be nothing left to cut.”

GDA member Paula

“Our care is a lifeline. Disabled people are tired of our human rights and basic needs not being met or protected. We won’t be able to survive more slashes to essential care that we rely on.”

GDA member Kirsty

“If it wasn’t for GDA providing the transport and making sure access needs were met, I would be completely isolated apart from 2 visit a day which just don’t meet my needs. GDA is great but it shouldn’t be down to a charity.”

GDA member Valerie

Tressa Burke, GDA Chief Executive: “While we appreciate the challenges facing Local Government finance, consecutive cuts to social care has eroded equality and rights over a period of years leaving many with no supports to wash, dress, eat or go to the toilet.

“Social isolation and loneliness has been compounded by feelings of being let down by the very services that they trusted to support them leaving disabled and older people with a sense of despair and hopelessness.

“This is surely an untenable position for Glasgow’s disabled people and the social work professionals who undertook to uphold rights, social justice and improve lives!”

There has never been a greater need for investment in and reform of the now broken system of social care in Scotland. A strategic alliance is needed between service users, disabled people led organisations together with people who design and implement policies and services.

We urgently call on Glasgow IJB Board members to fight these horrendous proposals to cut vital services and work with disabled people to make the changes needed to fix this broken social care system.

A person sits slumped in a chair, expressionless, looking downward. In front of them is a walking frame. Outside the window, the sun is shining, and people are visible on the hills. A person is seated at a table outside.

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