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As well as being a freelance writer I am also a qualified counsellor and I work for a low cost counselling service in Exeter and for the NHS Gender Clinic also in Exeter.

Simultaneously, I work as a Disability Member of the First Tier Tribunal, Social Entitlement Chamber sitting on disability benefit tribunals on an ad hoc basis.

As a writer I specialise in writing about disability and health.

My articles have been published in the Guardian, Times, OUCH! [BBC disability website], Disability Now, Broadcast, Lifestyle [Motability magazine], The Practising Midwife, 'Junior, Pregnancy & Baby', Writers' News, Able, Getting There [Transport for London magazine], Junior, Community Care, DPPi [Disability, Pregnancy & Parenthood International]. I have also had articles commissioned by Daily Mail.

For more information about me and for examples of my writing please see below.

If you would like me to write an article for your publication, about any aspect of disability, please do get in touch:

Friday, July 13, 2012

The return of institutionalisation for disabled people?

Baroness Jane Campbell has just alerted me to a very worrying proposal being considered by Worcestershire County Council and if she's worried about it we all should be.

Basically Worcestershire CC want to put a cap on the amount of money they spend on disabled people living independently in the community.  The cap would be the amount of money it would cost for that same person to live in a care home.

So, if your care costs more than the cost of a care home you either have to cover the extra costs yourself [at a time when the government is looking to strip away as many benefits as they can], source help from friends/family/neighbours/charities or compromise on the care package you need.  Otherwise you move into a care home.

It may come as a surprise to some but there are many disabled people who live independently, quite happily in the community but the level of support they receive could well cost more than a care home and therefore under these proposals they could well end up being shunted into a care home because they have no alternative.

Doesn't this all sound vaguely like doing the opposite of what we've been aiming to do over the past few decades, 'care in the community' and all that?

It just feels like this government is trying to strip away and strip away whatever we have - money, independence, dignity.  Are we really going to go back to the whole 'out of sight out of mind' thing?

Is this really happening in 2012?

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