Glasgow City Council is using the national policy of Personalisation to cut £10 million from the city’s social work budget. That was the unanimous view of more than 80 people who attended a conference to support disabled people in Glasgow and to discuss and organise against the cuts in services.
Organised by the trade union UNISON, along with Defend Glasgow Services Campaign, the Social Work Action Network and city disability groups, the meeting was held on Saturday 10 March in UNISON’s Bell Street offices.
Around 30 of those attending were service users.
Speakers explained how, in their opinion, the Council has rushed ahead with the implementation of the national policy of Personalisation which is also known as Self Directed Support. ‘This is primarily a way to save money,’ said one spokesperson. ‘The council claims that 20% of current funding can either be “redirected” to other support services or used to help meet the Social Work Department’s annual cuts targets. In 2012/13 they intend to use Personalisation to cut £10 million from the city’s social work budget,’ delegates were warned.
No one at the conference disagreed with the principles underpinning Personalisation. ‘Who is against choice, services tailored to individual needs and empowerment? However, the way in which Glasgow City Council has chosen to implement Personalisation is leading to cuts in support, less choice, poorer quality services and attacks on support workers’ wages and conditions.’ claimed speaker after speaker. ‘A market driven approach to social care will only lead to a “race to the bottom” and damage the current support services in the city.’
The conference called on the Council to adopt a “no cuts” approach. The group also agreed to press for a more transparent and inclusive individual assessment process; more resources for advocacy services and the protection of workers’ wages and conditions.
Said Brian Smith of UNISON: ‘We now need to step up the fight to defend services for disabled people, and to make the principle of choice a reality rather than a mask for cuts.’
The next meeting of the campaign on Personalisation, will be on Tuesday 27 March at 10am in UNISON’s Bell Street offices. This is open to all groups concerned about or affected by the cuts.
This meeting is open to workers, service users, families and campaigners affected by the issues around personalisation and self-directed support. While it will focus on what is happening in Glasgow, it is relevant beyond the confines of the city.
Personalisation Networking Meeting
UNISON / Defend Glasgow’s Services Campaign / Social Work Action Network are hosting a joint meeting to discuss the impact of personalisation on people who receive support in the community.
This meeting comes at a key time as Glasgow plans a further £10 million in cuts to those with disabilities in its budget this month.
Tuesday 7 February 2012
UNISON Glasgow branch office, 84 Bell Street, G1 1LQ
(Tel: 0141 552 7069)
In a lengthy statement from Glasgow City Council, some of the information given out at the Accord centre by users’ families to Alex Salmond, was disputed.
Following dicussions and consultations from October 2007, a sub group to examine how to reform Learning Disability Day Service provision was set-up in May 2008.
At that time, around 850 people with a learning disability were signed up for day support at 11 day centres across the city. Two areas were highlighted – building -based activity to help to encourage therapeutic interventioins for those who need and benefit from them. And encouragement of participation in community based activities and opportunities.
Among the reforms noted was: To provide a balanced service with less emphasis on specialist buildings and greater emphasis on community focused/ connected care.
By 2010 the 850 service users of 2008 had been reduced to 693 service users.
At least 90 events were held between October 2007 and April 2008 as part of the consultation process. And Service users and carers were ‘directly involved ‘ in a number of strategic workstreams.
The City Council’s Executive Committee agreed in October 2010 to implement Self Directed Support. This meant that every person registered with a learning disability and funded by GCC would complete a Self Evaluation Questionnaire and be responsible for deciding how to spend their funding allowance.