03 Sep Social care spending on disabled people in the North nearly £3,000 lower than across England | UK News
Social care spending for each disabled person in the north of England is almost £3,000 lower than England-wide.
New research from think-tank IPPR North has revealed multiple injustices are having a disproportionate impact on disabled northerners.
The analysis, shared with Sky News, shows people are disadvantaged when it comes to accessing services such as social care, being supported into work, and being able to live a good life free from unhappiness, dissatisfaction and anxiety.
Researchers found that working-age northerners with a long-term care need had less spent on social care than their counterparts across the country.
Long-term social care expenditure is £2,736 lower per person in the North than across England as a whole. While England sees £23,990 per person annually, the North receives just £21,254 per person.
Speaking to Sky News, the report’s co-author Erica Roscoe said: “For decades, disabled people across the country have found themselves disproportionately affected by multiple inequalities, including our undervalued and under-resourced social care system, and our alarming regional divides.
“During the pandemic, those injustices are deepening.
“Local governments are increasingly cash-strapped and they’re struggling to make really difficult decisions about budgets and what services they can provide in terms of social care for people.
“We know this is particularly the case in the north of England.
“We really need to make sure that disabled people are at the heart of any strategy because otherwise it’s just not going to work.”
As well as the lower funding, the other disparities include disabled northerners having some of the lowest levels of happiness and highest levels of anxiety in the country.
Plus, during the pandemic, people with disabilities in the region were less likely to be employed.
Isabel Stanley, 18, from Altrincham, has been severely disabled for most of her life. She can’t walk, can barely talk and has no means of caring for herself.
But the last 18 months of her life have been some of the most difficult, described by her mother Elizabeth as “horrible” and a “massive struggle”.
She told Sky News: “The pandemic has just made everything 100 million times worse because we went from having carers in the morning from 7, to all of a sudden having no support, no help, nothing.
“We just literally survived. Every single day has been a battle.
“It’s shocking to think there are inequalities just because of where you live.
“This is all a postcode lottery and it makes me feel a mixture of sad and angry that if we lived somewhere else in the country, we would be able to get additional help and more funding for Isabel, me and my other children.”
The Department for Health and Social Care told Sky News: “Throughout the pandemic, we have been working with the social care sector to ensure all recipients of care receive the support they need.
“We have made over £2bn available in specific funding for adult social care, in addition to over £8.9bn that has been made available to local authorities to address pressures on their services.
“We are committed to reforming the adult social care system and will bring forward proposals later this year.”