House Of Lords Approve Independent Living Bill

Lord Ashley of Stoke’s Disabled Persons (Independent Living) bill has received approval from the House of Lords and with early day motions of 150 MPs also supporting the bill, looks set to be on its way to becoming law soon.

The bill, which has been praised by carers and women’s equality groups including Carers UK and the Equal Opportunities Commission, seeks to provide greater choice and support to disabled people and carers, while helping them to remain independent.

It also hopes to change the way councils deal with those who require care, following the revelation that last year, 70 per cent local authorities admitted to only offering support to people whose needs were judged to be ‘critical’ or ‘substantial’, with 80 per cent of the same authorities anticipating further tightening this year.

If made into law, the bill will provide disabled people with the legal right to not be placed into residential care against their will, as well as reducing their dependency on social care provision by placing duties on local authorities and the NHS.Lord Ashley said: “By placing new duties on public authorities and conferring new rights on disabled people, it provides a blueprint for a future where disabled people are truly independent.

Sir Bert Massie, chairman of the Disability Rights Commission, added: “This is a historic moment, a historic opportunity to reform our threadbare social care system and to liberate millions of families into active, participating and contributing citizens, now exists and should not be missed.”