Raise awareness and influence policy

What we said

Run a joined-up influencing, media and public presence campaign to improve people’s lives by:

  • securing increased public funding for social care, increasing access and improving quality
  • changing employers’ attitudes and increasing funding for disability employment support programmes

​What we did

We launched a campaign, calling for the government to bring forward a response to the social care funding crisis and to establish an independent cross-party commission to agree a long-term solution.

As part of this we published The State of Social Care in Great Britain, securing media coverage and setting out clearly to policy makers the scale of the problem.

The chancellor announced an extra £2 billion for social care which goes some way to meeting the funding gap in the short-term. We continue to call for the government to commit to a commission which will deliver a long-term, sustainable solution.

We worked closely with government, sitting on an expert advisory group concerned with devising policies to transform employment prospects for disabled people.

We undertook a project with disabled people, employment support advisers and employers to write a response to the government’s consultation on disabled people and their access to employment.

The policy and campaigns team have created opportunities to listen to the views and suggestions of our supporters up and down the country.

We held six ‘open spaces’ events across England, Scotland and Wales, inviting those with lived experience of disability to share their views on employment and social care.

The events enabled us to draw on the personal experiences and expertise of disabled people to form a vital part of policy recommendations to government. We have also held a series of social care summits. This involved bringing together disabled people, supporters, their MPs and Councillors to have an open and honest conversation about social care.

After the success of our 15-minute campaign, we updated it in 2017 by releasing new FoI (Freedom of Information) data on how many 15-minute care visits were still happening in each English region.

We mobilised our supporters to petition the health minister to put an end to the practice. More than 10,000 people signed our petition and thousands more engaged with our online action to find out the scale of the social care problem in their area.

Julie's story

Julie, 30, standing outdoors with walking aidJulie has a syndrome which causes mobility and communication impairments, as well as Asthma, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other allergies.

She lives with her husband, Sam, who has severe depression. They both rely on direct payments from their local council to fund care, essential for helping them both to get up and dressed, get out and about, prepare food, attend meetings and appointments, and do sports at their local sports centre.

Due to the funding cuts, their local council has changed the way their emergency care provision works, meaning Julie and her husband can’t access care when they need it most.

Julie and her husband were left for two weeks without sufficient care and Julie’s health has suffered as a result.

Further cuts have meant that Julie has been given a self-propelled wheelchair instead of an electric one, which she is unable to operate herself.

This has restricted her independence. Until these cuts occurred, Julie was quite happy with her care, which was helping her and her husband to remain independent.

With good quality care, they want to be able to live the lives they would like, free from the worry of being stuck without help.

‘Many times we have both gone to medical appointments in our night clothes because, although patient transport has turned up, we have had a break down in our personal care and our local council no longer provides emergency care.’

— Julie