LDAS concerned at tougher eligibility criteria for vulnerable

“Eligibility criteria” are used by social work staff to decide which vulnerable people will get their needs met.  New guidance was agreed by COSLA and the Scottish Government in 2009.  

And while  there has been much talk that “front line” services will be safe from the cuts and that vulnerable individuals will not be left worse off as a result.   There are changes beginning to happen in local authorities that will leave many worse off and others without the support and services they need.

 ·       One local authority in Scotland now provides services and support to only the most critical of vulnerable people.
·         Fourteen local authorities will provide help to only those with substantial needs or greater.
·         Five others are now reviewing the levels at which they provide services and support.

Changes in eligibility criteria may be one of the most undehand forms of service cut to take place.  Its effects can be as serious as the closure of day centres or whole hospitals, yet it affects individuals one by one, before they are even offered a service.  As a result, no one has LOST a service, no one has had their support REMOVED.

Thousands of people, all over Scotland are at risk and may be left isolated in the community with access to only the most basic of services.  One of the great social changes of our generation, the movement of people with learning disabilities from institutional living to independent living may be brought to an abrupt halt.

Ian Hood, Coordinator of the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland said, “We are extremely concerned over these changes.  We argued last year that these were not appropriate for people with learning disabilities but  The Scottish Government’s hands off  approach has left it up to each local council to set their own criteria and how to apply.  This is, unfortunately, one more example of a postcode lottery but this time whole groups of people won’t even be getting a chance to buy a ticket!”

Mr Hood continued, “Our research shows that things are already difficult and look like getting much worse.”

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