LONDON, June 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
A new study by disability charity Revitalise found that over half (55%) of England's local authorities had spent less overall on services for disabled people and carers since the Care Act came into being than in the year before and 42% had reduced their spending on respite provision.
The study, based on Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, also found that local authorities gave fewer Needs Assessments for disabled people during the first year of the Care Act than in the year before it, and half (48%) had carried out an average of 22% fewer Carer Assessments during the same period.
In a survey of disabled people and carers, over half (53%) of disabled people and carers said the funding they received had been reduced or not kept pace with inflation over the past year. As a consequence, 44% said they were now struggling to make ends meet.
7 out of 10 (69%) disabled people and carers told the charity they were unaware of any changes to their entitlements as a result of the Care Act and half (49%) said services had got worse since the Act's introduction.
The Care Act came into force on 1 April 201. Revitalise's study, based on FOI requests and its own research, looked at the impact of the first year of the Care Act compared with the preceding year.
Revitalise is calling for an overhaul of the Care Act and more funding from central government to enable local authorities to fulfil all the pledges contained within the Act. The charity is also reiterating its call for sufficient funding for respite breaks to be a fundamental element of all social care provision.
Revitalise Chief Executive Chris Simmonds commented:
"The Care Act has failed to make any meaningful impact on the quality of life of the people it sets out to support - and in many respects their situation appears to have got worse. This is a tragedy.
"Until local authorities get squarely behind the principles of the Care Act - and the shortfall in adult social care funding is addressed - disabled people and carers will continue to struggle to achieve even the most basic quality of life."