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Learning Disability Voices

LD Voices

Who are learning disability voices?

Learning Disability Voices comprises charities, not-for-profit and independent sector companies who provide learning disability services in the UK and includes Voyage Care, United Response, Lifeways, Wilf Ward Family Trust, Hft and Mencap - together representing 20% of the total sector provision.

The learning disability sector cares for the UK’s most vulnerable people, who often require 24-hour support delivered by one or more carers to ensure that their needs are met.

For too long now our sector has had to cope with increasingly damaging local government cuts and has been forced to drive operational efficiencies to keep fees static. However, as we are paid for the hours of care we deliver, we cannot reduce frontline staffing to cut costs further.

In other words, we have no further scope to cut our costs without reducing the quality of the services we provide – which is not a moral or viable choice for us. With this in mind, LD Voices exists to champion the learning disability sector and push for crucial policy changes to ensure a sustainable future for quality learning disability care.

Our manifesto

As a coalition of organisations caring for individuals with learning disability across the UK, we are calling on the Government in our ‘Care Crisis Manifesto’ to:

  1. Play its role in ensuring sufficient extra money is put it into social care, to close the large and growing funding gap.

  2. Give local authorities the freedom to raise the social care precept above 2%, to enable them to compensate for the shortfall created by the NLW and make a greater contribution towards funding for social care.

  3. ‘Front-end’ the extra £700m from the Better Care Fund to this year, rather than waiting until 2017, to recognise the additional costs borne by the introduction of the NLW.

  4. Amend the policy requirements for the Better Care Fund, so that it can be used by local authorities to support care packages for individuals with learning disabilities, rather than restricting it to efforts to reduce pressures on the NHS.

  5. Ensure that supported housing remains exempt from the cap on housing benefit to be applied to the social housing sector.

  6. Urgently look again at the 2015 National Minimum Wage (NMW) regulations, to make it clear that time spent asleep on an overnight shift is exempt from the NMW/NLW rate, as was originally intended.

Find out more on the Learning Disability Voices website.