Learning Disability & Autism and the inclusion of Social Care into Health

I attended the   Staying Healthy – Health & Wellbeing Conference 27 March 2023 and the presentations gave insight to many good works occurring, but, unfortunately, there was little mention of social care and social care and health have to be so interlinked that you can’t see the join and it is imperative that both survive intact for both to survive to any degree, where one fails the other will follow. So, I believe a lost opportunity was lost by NHS England. Both areas are extremely short of funding and many other resources, staffing so much so, and I believe social care even more so than health, which is not saying the shortages in health are not detrimental, but so much more so in social care. This includes all areas of social care including social workers and even more so care workers, not just care homes, but all areas for children and adults of which home care and supported living are just 2 but many others. Both areas are desperately short of funding, social care so much more than health. In both areas the blame is at the door of government, this one and all previous and as see any forthcoming governments. Social care has, as all Local Authority funded areas of which social care is one of many, have since 2010 been penalised by governments through austerity cuts. But in fact social care has never been really funded by any governments and this is so evident with this current government, for in the few instances where social care is mentioned the amount said to be given are so way short of what is really required. To make any real difference £12 billion is required, the promised £3 billion, see what The King’s fund says, but as I say so much more is required now, not next year for that could well be too late. Then sustained funding for all years to come. Without a sustainable and effective social care the NHS has no hope to survive so both social care and the NHS will fail all down to having no ‘listening’ government. In effect government does not care about the NHS and in reality can’t see any need for social care. The government is not only blinkered, it just does not care because it has no thoughts what soever for persons in need of social care. Similarly, to how they view persons on welfare benefits, but so much worse, when you wouldn’t have thought that possible. A caring and listening government is required by us all, but will we ever get one, I so hope so, but I can’t see one coming in the near future. Please see the agenda for the NHS England conference. Part of the problem was not including social care in the creation of the NHS in 1948, but then, as is now social care was not considered important, the big difference was that was due to ignorance, but today with so much information available, it is not really ignorance, but total government indifference. With Learning Disability (LD) and Autism there is so much information available and reported to the Department of Health and Social Care, (DHSC) one being the LeDeR programme since 2016, which is the reporting of the early deaths of persons with LD. As I said this is reported to the DHSC, but at the start of the COVID-19 vaccination programme although the evidence of persons with LD & Autism were susceptible to the effects of COVID they were not originally placed as a priority in the programme, just shows how this government views disability. Even now there is no alternative to the vaccination programme, so persons who are needle averse still can’t be vaccinated and effectively no blood tests be taken on which much medical diagnosis is a starting point of. While needle phobia is generally not readily known about there are signification numbers of persons affected and this incidence could well be larger in persons with LD and autism So much more needs to be done and the time to do it is getting forever shorter.

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