|Your e-news this week
At Disability Rights UK we are well aware that the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing great uncertainty and stress among our community. We will be sending you some different e-news updates this week. This one will be our regular non-Coronavirus e-news round up, and others will be focussed on Coronavirus – both policy around the virus, with particular relevance to disabled people, and practical information and signposting on areas of life affected by the virus. We hope that this approach helps to minimise overload and stress at this time, while offering you the information you need.
BBC Red Button service reprieve due to Coronavirus
The BBC has announced that it will not make any decisions on the future of its Red Button service due to the Coronavirus outbreak. A statement from the Director-General of the BBC on what it plans to do to keep the national informed, entertained, educated and active during the outbreak, can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2020/bbc-keeping-nation-informed-educated-entertained
Minister denies DWP makes ‘take it or leave it’ decision offers while saying that it does
The Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson has said that the DWP “does not make offers” to some PIP and ESA claimants who are awaiting appeals.
However, in a contradictory remark he also said decisions are confirmed only “if the claimant agrees” on the telephone.
Ken Butler DR UK’s Welfare Rights and Policy Adviser said:
“If the DWP considers that an increased PIP or ESA award is warranted then it should make that decision and inform the claimant in writing while highlighting their right of appeal.
“What is confirming a decision on the telephone “only if the claimant agrees” if not a ‘take it or leave it offer’?
“Disabled people lack trust in the DWP. This pressuring of some disabled people on the telephone only reinforces and adds to that lack of trust.”https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2020/march/minister-denies-dwp-makes-%E2%80%98take-it-or-leave-it%E2%80%99-decision-offers-while-saying-it-does
Whorlton Hall review
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published the findings of an independent review into abuse at the Whorlton Hall care facility for people with autism and severe learning disabilities. Despite seven inspections by the CQC between 2015 and 2019, the abuse was only exposed by a BBC Panorama documentary in May 2019. The CQC has faced criticism for not taking proper action over whistleblower concerns in 2015, including failing to publish a critical report by an inspector in 2015.
The review says that a small group of staff ‘deliberately misled’ inspectors.
The findings of a second phase of the review are expected to be published later this year.
You can read the findings of the review here: https://www.cqc.org.uk/news/stories/cqc-publishes-independent-review-its-regulation-whorlton-hall-between-2015-2019
Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS)
DR UK is a member of the Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) reference group, supporting the vital work of the Helpline in advising and assisting individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights, across England, Scotland and Wales.
View the March edition of the EASS newsletter
It includes a couple of trends in relation to Covid 19 such as people with long-term health conditions complaining that their employers are not introducing effective measures to protect them. Another common complaint is around the impact the virus has had on home deliveries and access to essential supplies.
Fears for future inactive generation as report shows disabled children miss out
A third of all disabled children participate in less than 30 minutes of physical activity per day, according to a new report from the Activity Alliance.
The My Active Future report also shows that disabled children are likely to be twice as lonely as non-disabled children, and to decrease activity as they get older.
The report calls for more commitment from every sector of our society to ensure all children and young people benefit from an active lifestyle. Read more about the report here:http://www.activityalliance.org.uk/news/5668-fears-for-future-generation-as-report-shows-disabled-children-miss-out