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Spinal Injuries Association welcomes investigation into care cuts

Statement from Spinal Injuries Association (SIA)

SIA members are deeply concerned at the impact of cuts to their packages of care and we’ve been campaigning on this issue since it first came to our attention in 2015. SIA has been working closely with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to assist their investigations regarding NHS Continuing Healthcare. We welcome their decision to hold NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to account for their wholly unreasonable treatment of severely disabled people. This is an important and necessary development that reflects our determination to give a voice to the concerns of our members. Long term packages of care for the most severely disabled people is a particular issue for those living with a spinal cord injury who with the right care and support can have many decades of leading a fulfilled and productive life ahead.

We regularly hear of people being forced to accept reductions in packages of care or are under threat of incarceration in care homes, lengthy delays in assessment and wide regional variations in how the national framework is being interpreted. This is especially alarming as NHS England expects to make savings of £855 million by 2020-21 through “efficiency savings”.

However, there is much more to do. Arbitrary cuts to care packages that lead to unsafe care and the risk of incarcerating people in care homes must stop now. We expect that the equality and human rights of people living with long term conditions and in receipt of NHS CHC funding are respected.  We are demanding a system that actively promotes people’s equality and human rights and genuinely provides the independence, support and care they need and deserve. There must be a reduction in regional variation of assessments and awards – a postcode lottery of care – and  greater enforcement by NHS England to ensure lawful decision making that is in the spirit and letter of the national framework used by the CCGs.