Thanks for reading July’s edition of our e-newsletter. It’s coming to you a little later than usual this month as last week we were all very busy on the annual Independent Lives away day!
If you’d like to see what we got up to, then take a look at our Facebook and Twitter pages at the bottom of the e-news, there’s never been a better time to give us a like or a follow!
Thanks for reading,
Taxi discrimination law will not be acted on by a quarter of councils.
In April this year, a law was passed making it illegal for taxi drivers to discriminate against wheelchair users, punishable by a fine of up to £1,000.
At the time, the change in the law was welcomed by disabled people and DPULO’s, because even though accessible transport is an ongoing concern for disabled people, this was still seen as a positive move.
Unfortunately, it seems enforcing the law across the country is proving difficult, as it is only enacted if the local council in your area creates a “designated list” of wheelchair accessible taxis.
Doug Pauley, the activist who won a Supreme Court case earlier this year regarding wheelchair access on buses, submitted 366 separate FOI requests to all taxi licensing councils in Britain to find who had set up designated lists.
He found that only 41% of councils either have a list or plan to create one this financial year, and 26% of authorities have actively decided not to work towards such a list at the moment.
At time of publication, Worthing & Adur Councils have no plan to produce a designated list.
To read Doug’s full report into taxi wheelchair discrimination, please visit: https://www.kingqueen.org.uk/s167/
CQC publishes report on care in mental health services.
The Care and Quality Commission (CQC) has published a report into care in mental health services in England between 2014 and 2017.
The report combines evidence from CQC inspections and outcomes from its role in monitoring the use of the Mental Health Act, as well as analysis of data from other sources.
The CQC visited 54 NHS trusts and 218 NHS services over the last three years as part of their investigation and found the following:
- 68% (344) of core services provided by NHS trusts were found to be good, with 6% (30) rated as outstanding.
- Among independent services, 76% (197) were rated as good or outstanding.
- Some services performed particularly well, especially community services for people with a learning disability or autism and community services for older people.
- 25% (125) of core services provided by NHS trusts were found to need improvement, with 1% (7) rated inadequate.
- Among independent services, 23% (60) were found to need improvement, with 3% (1) rated inadequate.
To read the CQC report in full, please click here
On a related note, the Government recently announced plans to create 21,000 new mental health jobs across the NHS at a cost of around £1.3 billion. To read more about this, please click here.
PA Sleeping In Rules
There’s been much in the news lately over an employment appeal tribunal brought against Mencap which ruled that any carers who sleep overnight to provide safety and reassurance should be paid the national minimum wage for all hours.
Recently, a customer asked us for more information on what the possible impact will be on disabled people employing Personal Assistants.
The Government announced last Wednesday (26 July) that it would ‘temporarily suspended enforcement activity and is waiving historic financial penalties against employers concerning sleep-in shift pay in the social care sector’ for any sleep in shifts that took place prior to 26 July.
HMRC also agreed to ‘suspend all enforcement activity concerning payment of “sleep-in” shifts by social care providers, which will apply until 2 October 2017′
However, there are still remaining issues over back pay and paying the minimum wage to PA’s for sleep-in’s going forward which need to be addressed.
Disability Rights UK would like to hear from anyone who has been affected by the recent changes. To contact them about this, please click here.
Independent Lives will keep all our customers updated with any news on this as soon as we receive it. Please contact us on 01903 219482 if you have any questions about this.
Improving the evidence base for personal budgets.
In 2016, the National Audit Office (NAO) published a report into Personalised Commissioning in Adult Social Care. The original NAO report shed light on the lack of a firm evidence base for understanding the impact of personal budgets.
To address this, Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) has published a report which sets out how to improve the evidence base for personal budgets.
The key messages of the report are:
- More use could and should be made of existing tools such as the Personal Outcomes Evaluation Tool (POET) in order to understand the experience and outcomes of people receiving personal budgets.
- New measures and approaches to research and evaluation should be informed by people with lived experience and carers and what matters most to them.
- Improving the evidence base should reflect the goal of achieving truly integrated care and support, built around individuals and their networks of support.
- The report makes clear that personal budgets can only be understood within the context of personalisation.
To read the TLAP report in full, please click here
Additionally, NHS England have begun sharing stories from patients on how Personal Health Budgets have had a positive effect on their lives. To read these stories, please click here.
If you would like to contribute a personal story of your own, please contact us.
Events & Training
Award winning clinical training service
Do you have health care needs and would like your personal assistant or care support worker to be able to carry out clinical tasks? Independent Lives has fully qualified nurses that can train your PA or care support worker to provide:
- Tracheostomy care
- Respiratory care
- Enteral feeding
- Catheter care
- Elimination support
Book your training:
The clinical training service is a Guardian Public Service Award winner.
Read the Guardian article on the service.