By Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, [RxPG] The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities welcomes the intentions of the Government's white paper, Your Health, Your Care, Your Say. However, the charity believes that measures still do not fully ensure that people with learning disabilities are supported to access mainstream health services and engage in their communities.
The Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, has outlined proposals for the future of health and social care, including extending Direct Payments and piloting Individual Budgets. The Foundation believes this will give people with learning disabilities more control over their lives and encourage services to become more responsive to their needs. However, the charity believes that other proposals should be developed in more detail.
Hazel Morgan, Co-Director of the Foundation for Learning Disabilities, said: "The Department of Health must expand upon other measures if people with learning disabilities are to receive the support they need. We welcome a closer integration of health and social care but joined up working should include looking at all aspect of a person's life, including education, employment and leisure. Also, the Foundation has been calling for annual health checks for the last ten years and hopes that the commitment to regular checks will be speedily implemented.
"A major neglected area is support for family carers. Many need regular short term breaks that are flexible and can be accessed when the family experiences an emergency. Also, older family carers need trusted workers to help them and their relative with a learning disability plan for the future. We have a major concern that support for those in a caring role cannot be delivered without additional funding. The Government must seriously consider how to meet these additional needs."
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities
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The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities promotes the rights, quality of life and opportunities of people with learning disabilities and their families. It does this by working with people with learning disabilities, their families and those who support them to:
· Do research and develop projects that promote social inclusion and citizenship
· Support local communities and services to include people with learning disabilities
· Make practical improvements in services for people with learning disabilities
· Spread knowledge and information.
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