Hft, a national charity that supports adults with learning disabilities, is today concerned by the absence of policies aimed at addressing the ongoing funding crisis in the social care sector in the Autumn Budget.

Prior to the Budget, Hft had called for a decisive funding solution, following the government’s announcement that the long-awaited green paper on social care would only focus on elderly care. The charity had expressed concerns the needs of people with learning disabilities would be side-lined, as other parts of the social care sector would be addressed in a “parallel programme of work”.

Robert Longley-Cook, Chief Executive at Hft, commented: “Once again, social care has been neglected in the Chancellor’s Budget Statement.  At a time when the sector is facing unprecedented funding pressures, we had hoped that the Chancellor would provide some much-needed relief and stability to a struggling sector.

“Learning disabilities accounts for around one-third of total adult social care spend in England and social care contributes in excess of £40bn a year to the English economy, while providing essential support to some of the most vulnerable adults in society.

“While the expected announcement of the increase in the rate of the National Living Wage to £7.83 in April 2018 is welcome, it is essential that this is passed on to providers in the rates commissioned by local authorities.  Our staff are the bedrock of the high quality, personalised support that we provide, but organisations across the sector are warning that local authorities continue to commission care packages at financially unsustainable rates.

“After being side-lined by the green paper, we are disappointed not to have been included in the Budget. The Chancellor may be building an economy that is ‘fit for the future’, but the future of learning disabilities remains worryingly uncertain.”

Notes to editors

For further information please contact: Suzanne Fry, PR & Media Manager, on 0117 906 1755 or suzanne.fry@hft.org.uk. For media enquiries outside of office hours please call 0117 906 1697

About Hft

Hft is a national charity supporting more than 2,500 adults with learning disabilities across England to live the best life possible. Established in 1962, the charity uses its own unique Fusion Model to consistently deliver high quality, person-centred support across all its services.

Services range from supported living to residential care – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.

For more information about Hft please visit www.hft.org.uk

Information about learning disabilities

A learning disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and is defined as having a reduced ability to:

  • Understand new or complex information
  • Learn new skills
  • Live independently