Accessing the right Health and Social Care Services can be the difference not just between life and death, but between having a life or ‘just an existence’.
Disabled people, and people with long term conditions, are more likely to rely on a range of Health and Social Care services in order to live our lives, stay well, and enjoy the same rights, freedom and opportunities as non-disabled people. Historically our support needs have led to these services having a huge degree of control over our lives and choices, and the Independent Living Movement was born out of disabled people campaigning tirelessly to shift this power balance, have our voices heard, and our rights to choice and control upheld.
With equal rights to Healthcare and Independent Living enshrined in the UNCRPD, it has never been more important for disabled people’s voices to be at the heart of making these rights a reality.
GDA supports disabled people’s access to Health and Social Care supports, through
- Our programmes of learning and coaching which remove barriers and provide accessible opportunities for disabled people to keep active, tackle isolation,
- Our information, signposting and capacity building helps disabled people to navigate systems and information that can be overwhelming and inaccessible – to know what’s available, what their rights are, and connect with the support they need
- Supporting disabled people to speak out and share their experiences, expertise and priorities with those who plan and deliver our Health and Care services, to highlight barriers and solutions – what works, and what needs to change.
GDA members contribute to Health and Social Care Planning:
- at the Locality level in Glasgow – North East, North West and South
- at the City wide level through the Disability Strategic Planning group and Glasgow Equality Forum
- sharing our aspirations for change and meaningful involvement, through the Participation and Engagement Strategy of the Integrated Joint Board
- through the Adult Support and Protection Service User Group, which ensures disabled people’s lived experiences help to shape and scrutinise the policies and measures that aim to protect us from harm.
- Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership’s Wellbeing for Longer Fund contributes to our programmes and activities to support disabled people of all ages to keep active, participate and tackle isolation
- GDA members shared their lived experiences with Glasgow City Council’s Commission on Health Inequalities, discussing the barriers many disabled people face to accessing mental health supports and services.
At the National level, we have worked with:
- Healthcare Improvement Scotland
- A Connected Scotland: Scotland’s strategy for tackling Loneliness and Isolation
- The Adult Social Care Reform Programme, through our Future Visions project and Social Care Experience Forum.