The Coronavirus Act 2020 worryingly relieves local authorities in England and Wales of their duties to provide crucial care and support to disabled adults and their carers. In England the Act could mean that care and support need only be provided to prevent a violation of an individual’s basic human rights and in Wales the duty will only arise if a failure to provide support left an individual at risk of abuse or neglect.
As has repeatedly been acknowledged in mainstream media, this comes after a decade of austerity has stripped social services ability to provide appropriate care to disabled children, adults and carers to the bone. The additional removal of such important duties to meet the social care needs of some of the most vulnerable in our society is a very concerning prospect and will almost certainly put more pressure on the NHS at this unprecedented time.
Cerebra is strongly backing the Disability Law Service’s campaign for a review of the Act in relation to social care to ensure that disabled people and their carers are fully safeguarded during this emergency period. It is also of upmost importance that social services are ‘fit for disabled people and carers’ at the end of this emergency.