Archive for the ‘Autism’ Category

Coalition government – a ‘machine’ made from steel

8 September 2011

For countless years, with successive governments, family carers have continuously raised their voices outlining the many problems they face, about resources, finances, respite and/or equipment.

Yet no matter how much they chipped away at the brick wall no real action has been taken, by past and present govts. Campaigns have followed one after the other from many individuals, groups, and charities.

We are currently witnessing the biggest shake up of welfare benefits in over 60 years and still the issues surrounding Carers Allowance are not being addressed.  It is the LOWEST of all benefits at £55.55  per week.

As campaigners we will not give up even though the brick wall is now made of re enforced steel. Behind that wall lies a Coalition machine made from cold steel too. It shows NO understanding, NO compassion. It operates so clinically, so precise and its actions prove that it has no heart.

It speaks of Responsibility, Big Society, yet continues on its mission to persecute many disabled people, their families, and carers, with this current Welfare Reform Bill.

Is this the future we want for ourselves, for our children?

A future where disabled people and their families are battered from all directions.

Borrowing the famous words from Winston Churchill and altering them slightly…

Never has so much been given so freely by so few, for the benefit of so many.

 Carers need action and they need it NOW

 Please contact any groups/charities you belong to. Tell them your concerns surrounding Welfare Reform.

Contact your MP . Add your postcode in the box on this link to find their details

Feel free to use this template from Sue Marsh of The Broken of Britain

Support the Hardest Hit campaign which following on from a successful march in May 2011 are now planning local protests.

One simple change re ESA

As individuals any action we take may seem so small, but collectively we can be stronger.


Independent living under threat

3 September 2011


Some of the most vulnerable people in the UK will become worse off if Government proposals to reduce the number of people claiming disability benefit go ahead.

This week, (31 August), was the end of the UK Government’s Consultation on the assessment criteria for Personal Independence Payments (PIPS).  PIPs will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) as part of the Welfare Reform Bill and the Government has already stated that it hopes to save £1.45bn per annum on DLA/PIP expenditure.  This can only realistically be achieved by reducing the number of people who can claim for the benefit.

Capability Scotland: Scotlands leading disability organisation, Support for disabled people and carers, influencing legislation

CarerWatch Discussion Forum Taken Down

21 August 2011
22nd August
Letter to Atos Legal Department
We are sorry to have to announce that the CarerWatch discussion forum is currently unavailable and that we cannot get in touch with all members for the moment.
We have been informed by our hosting company that we are under threat of legal action by ATOS and have therefore been taken down.
As we were not contacted directly by ATOS and have received no complaints we are unaware of any issues causing concerns.
We will therefore be writing to ATOS to try and resolve this problem.
Any updates will be posted here and if any members would like to hear more about what is happening please contact us at
Meanwhile don’t worry – the group will soon be back – and you can continue to discuss issues on this blog, our Facebook page and Twitter

Time to take action across the UK | The Hardest Hit

19 August 2011


The Hardest Hit rally, march and lobby on 11th May was an outstanding success, bringing disabled people, their families and other campaign supporters together with one clear voice.

But further action is needed. So the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) and the UK Disabled People’s Council (UKDPC) are working together to support Hardest Hit events across the UK on and around 22nd October.

Despite having promised to protect the most vulnerable, the Government is pressing ahead with swingeing cuts to benefits and services vital to the lives of disabled people. It is simply not listening to us. These events will let us come together again, across the UK to send a clear message: stop these cuts.

Time to take action across the UK | The Hardest Hit

What does the future hold for family carers?

8 August 2011

Can we afford to ignore family carers?

Care provided by them is a necessity and will be even more so as the population ages.  Plus as medicine breakthroughs continue and many people with disabilities and illnesses will live longer, the country will rely even more on the foundation that family carers provide.  They are a group of people who provide a vital service, yet governments, past and present, have taken them for granted, have taken their love for granted.

In this present economic climate we are already witnessing many cutbacks within Local Authorities:

  • Care criteria being tightened
  • Day centres closing
  • Respite allocations reducing in many areas
  • Meals on wheels costs increasing dramatically
  • Care package costs increasing
  • Transport for disabled people either stopping or priced out of reach
  • Carers’ grants under threat

…………… and so the list could go on.

Yet through all this, the one thing that remains constant is the love and support given freely by families. They provide a foundation that would be a great folly for any government to ignore.

We recognise that many carers want to return to/remain in work, and realise that any support given to them is vital.

However we cannot, and must not, ignore full-time carers.  Failing to recognise their input is storing up even further trouble for the future by placing added pressure on already stretched Social Services departments and the NHS.

Carer Watch were pleased to learn in the publication of the Welfare Reform Bill that Carers Allowance will remain outside the proposed Universal Credit. Along with many others we campaigned long and hard for this. However Carers Allowance has always been completely inadequate and carers still seem to be overlooked and forgotten as other benefits are changed around them in the biggest shake up of our benefit system in over 60 years.

To date, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mr Iain Duncan Smith, and his department, have maintained silence as to their intentions re:CA. Leaving it outside the proposed UC is not enough. They need to address the problems that have surrounded this benefit for far too long.

There have been many campaigns over the years by various organisations (see notes below) all asking for the same – the reform of Carers Allowance – to remove the restrictions therein and also to increase the monetary pittance that CA is.
In the report Breakthrough Britain (2007) from the Social Justice Policy Group (policy recommendations to the Conservative Party) it was recommended –

 doubling the carers allowance to £90 a week because of the vast amounts carers save the taxpayer by looking after their sick and elderly relatives at home and not relying on the state to care for them.

Other measures would need to be put in place to ensure that families claiming other benefits/premiums were no worse off.

The report also states –  

Family carers are undervalued in our society and receive a disproportionately low level of financial support given the many hours of work that they do.

We cannot and must not allow this opportunity to fully reform CA to pass us by.

Carers are used to words of praise, more of which can be heard here from David Cameron but it is NOT enough. No matter how much understanding he says the Coalition has, no matter how many times he says Thank you, it is NOT enough.

Carers need action and they need it now


Carer Watch campaigns    

National Pensioners Convention      

Carers UK         

Daily Mirror

Age UK – Invisible but invaluable

The Bandwagon – where do you belong? On or off ?

4 August 2011

Regular visitors to this blog will be familiar with Pats’ story. Here she describes how negative reporting has angered her.

Guest post by Pat Onions

Dear Mr Editors of  Mail and Express

 I am by nature a peaceful person. I abhor bloodshed especially my own. I will not put up with cruelty to dogs and violence to other human beings makes me very sad. Strange then that I should have chosen to spend all my married life with someone who served in the Armed Forces?

Many things make me angry though and people who park half on the pavement and half on the road evoke those feelings in me. This is especially true when the owner of the offending car says…”Every one else does it….love.” Ah so that makes it alright?

No it doesn’t. They know it is wrong to block the pavement completely although often ignorant as to why. Pedestrians or pram users would not measure on their scale as pavement users, and if a wheelchair comes along? Oh…you know the same old same old. Mind you Mrs half on would probably tell her offspring to ride bikes on the pavement because it is safe. Mr half on half off would never park on the road in case their precious car is scratched.

Mr half on half off does something because ‘every one else does.’ It is called  a band wagon and it seems the members of the press have found one to jump on off, on off, on off, on off. I am getting very dizzy.

Scroungers, cheats, fraudsters, spongers, loafer, work shy, scum….hang on a few more coming through….Bromus secalinum, vetch, bearded darnel. Hold it, that’s not right? Ah yes. A bit of my Latin and horticulture creeping in.

“Cheat is a ‘weedy annual native to Europe.’ ”

I think that sums me up very nicely. I can say that about myself. I can say anything I like. Happy today. Feeling good today.  I was sad yesterday, cold and hungry. I can say I am good looking and bear a remarkable resemblance to Penny Lancaster. I don’t but I can still say it because she is married to the  other man I love..! I don’t hurt anyone with these words and only lie when I say I am very slim…. really.

What gives the gentlemen, and heaven forbid, the ladies of the press the right to talk about me as if I am something that came out of a cow’s backside? When, yet again, I hear words of one or maybe two syllables, which are repeats of words I heard yesterday, the day before and the day yawn. before that. I get bored. Repeats on TV bore me. Maybe a classic film like The Great Escape…..(Ooooh didn’t we always hope, by watching the repeats, that Steve Mc Queen would get over the wire but he never does.) There may be a line or two that you missed or a particular scene that was breath taking that made you watch it every Christmas.



2 August 2011

Dear CarerWatch,

Re: Care4yourRights

Thank you for your support.

The blog is, as you know, dedicated to human rights issues in the field of healthcare on both a domestic and international level.  I am a Masters Student studying International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, but it is separate from this.

As you can see I have set up various pages on the blog, some are to encourage discussion, others to provide information and to give individuals an idea of action that can be taken regarding human rights breaches or violations in healthcare settings. I also have a page labelled ‘raise awareness’ and hope to use this to raise the profile of some of the important human rights issues in this field.

I hope for this blog to grow into a helpful resource for anyone interested in the broad area of human rights and health/healthcare. As I mentioned before it is still very much a work in progress. Any input is greatly welcomes as are any comments both positive and negative!

I have not yet set up a facebook page for Care4yourRights but it is something I may do in the future. I would be grateful if you could publicise the blog there too.

With Many Thanks

Miss Caroline Kayleigh Roberts B.A. Hons (Oxon) JP

Care-home closures will create an uncertain future for many | Society | The Guardian

18 July 2011


Some time tomorrow evening, councillors in Haringey will decide whether to close a number of residential homes, as part of its efforts to make cuts of £41m over the next year, and £84m by 2015. On the list of centres likely to shut is Whitehall Street, a home for adults with learning disabilities and a respite centre, where disabled people can come for a short break, to give their carers a rest.

Many of the residents have been living here for more than a decade. Most are now entering middle age; they have formed friendships and strong relationships have grown between staff, residents and their families.

see story in full here   Care-home closures will create an uncertain future for many | Society | The Guardian

Commission Report Published | Dilnot Commission

4 July 2011

The Commission on Funding of Care and Support has presented its findings to the Government in its report Fairer Care Funding, published on 4th July 2011. The letter to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Health sent with the report is available for you to read below.

letter to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Health (PDF: 149KB)

The independent commission, set up by the Government last July, was asked to recommend a fair and sustainable funding system for adult social care in England.

Commission Report Published | Dilnot Commission


A space to discuss the Dilnot report – funding of Care and Support

4 July 2011

Tomorrow sees the publication of the Dilnot Commission’s report into the funding of care and support – a significant policy development for anyone interested in social care for people of all ages.

Discussion on Twitter has used the #dilnot hashtag for people’s thoughts and to share links/information regarding the Commission. ( also #carecrisis and #socialcare)

People on Twitter have built networks and will be interested in the many responses that will be published by individuals/groups/charities etc. For many time will be limited.

Therefore after a discussion among a few people who host highly respected blogs, it was agreed that ArbitraryConstant  (aka Rich Watt) would offer space, so a frank and open discussion could take place by anyone interested in social care issues.

With many thanks to @rich_w, @monstertalk and @jrfemma for their willingness to try this.

So once you have read the Dilnot report, if you want to discuss the details, please join in with the discussion here

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