As the population ages, more people have to live with long-term conditions and disabilities. National projections show:
Welfare reform will impact on disabled people of working age and carers through the reassessment for Disability Living Allowance and the move to Personal Independence Payments, and through the shift to Universal Credit and the tie in of Carers Allowance. Disabled people will also be impacted by other welfare changes such as withdrawing the spare bedroom subsidy and Council Tax Credit. Some disabled people will be impacted by multiple changes to their benefits. As these changes are currently being implemented, it is unclear to what extent the reduction in income for disabled people will impact on their ability to live independently and requirement for support from health and care services.
Wokingham projection from Projecting Older People Population Information (POPPI)
To find out more download limiting long term illness (PDF document).
The Projecting Adult Needs and Services Information System uses Office for National Statistics population projections and the number of people registered with a sensory impairment to project how many people aged 18 to 64 will have a visual or hearing impairment from 2012 to 2020. Around 3,900 adults in the Wokingham Borough are estimated to have moderate or severe hearing impairment in 2012 with 34 estimated to have a profound hearing impairment. These figures are estimated to rise to around 4,300 and 38 by 2020. 63 adults are estimated to have a serious visual impairment.
National Demographics from the Office for Disability Issues show that there are 11.2 million disabled people in Great Britain. 5.2 million are working-age adults, 5.2 million are over State Pension age and 0.8 million are children. The Family Resources Survey 2010/11 shows that the most commonly-reported impairments are those that affect mobility, lifting or carrying.
According to the Labour force survey 2012, disabled people are now more likely to be employed than they were in 2002, but disabled people remain significantly less likely to be in employment than non-disabled people. In 2012, 46.3% of working-age disabled people are in employment compared to 76.4% of working-age non-disabled people. There is therefore a 30.1% gap between disabled and non-disabled people, representing over 2 million people. The gap has reduced by 10% over the last 14 years and has remained stable over the last two years despite the economic climate.
The Citizenship Survey 2010/11 shows that disabled people remain significantly less likely to participate in cultural, leisure and sporting activities than non-disabled people.
The Projecting Adult Needs and Services Information System estimates that in 2012 around 7,700 people aged 18 to 64 had a moderate physical disability in the Wokingham Borough. 2,300 were estimated to have a serious physical disability. These figures are estimated to rise to around 8,400 and 2,525 by 2020.
Current activity and services - assessment and brokerage
Wokingham Borough Council’s Adult Social Care Assessment Teams carry out assessments of needs. This will establish whether a period of reablement or the provision of equipment or adaptations will be sufficient to support the person. If a person with a physical disability is assessed as having on-going needs that are eligible for social care services, an amount of money (a personal budget) is allocated to meet these needs (this is also subject to a financial assessment). This can be taken as a Direct Payment or can be managed by the council.
The Care Act puts Adult Safeguarding on a legal footing. Safeguarding is defined as “protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. The Adult Social Care teams respond to concerns of abuse harm and neglect by carrying out investigations under section 42 of the Care Act 2014. We work closely with our partners such as the police, fire service and health colleagues and the providers of services to ensure good outcomes for our customers.
The Council’s traded company, Optalis, provides brokerage services for people with personal budgets. Optalis also manages a number of support services such as day care, employment services, home care, supported housing services and sensory needs services. All services are tailored to meet the individual needs of social care customers.
Sensory Needs Service (Optalis)
The Wokingham-based Sensory Needs Service serves Wokingham Borough Council and is managed by Optalis, which is the Council’s traded company. The service provides statutory specialist assessments, registration duties and operates with strong emphasis on their social care and reablement functions. Although working mainly with adults, they also carry out registration and transitional work with children and young adults.
Services for people with visual impairments include:
Advice, training and equipment
Independent living skills, orientation and mobility
Referrals to other services e.g. Occupational Therapists
Advice on accessing personal budgets
A Braille Printing Service
A Communicator Guide Service for Deafblind people
Services for deaf people include:
Support from a social worker
Advice, guidance and assistance on a wide range of issues, to help support positive independent living
Information about essential equipment to assist and improve daily living in the home
Information on deaf issues
Information on deaf clubs and where to meet other people
Information on interpreters
Day care opportunities
Personal budgets offer great flexibility for choosing support and care services. People with physical disabilities have access to day care services in specialist day care settings, such as Westmead, but can also take part in community based activities, such as trips out, leisure and sports activities, lunch clubs and pursue specialist hobbies. In 2012/13, 210 people with physical disabilities aged 18 to 64 and 180 people with physical disabilities aged 65 and over were using day care services.
Home care services are predominantly used by people with physical disabilities who are over 65 (505 in 2012/13) as opposed to people aged 18 to 64 with physical disabilities (85 in 2012/13). Personal budgets enable social care customers choose the providers of their home care services.
Specialist employment support service for people with all disabilities is provided by Optalis. Services include interviewing skills, job searching and job coaching and one-to-one employment support. Job Centre Plus and Connexions also provide employment support services locally.
Wokingham Borough Council funds a sports activities programme (SHINE+) for people with disabilities and carers. Activities include swimming, physical exercises, massage and ball games.
Just Advocacy provides advocacy services to social care customers and carers in Wokingham Borough, when required.
Voluntary sector organisations
Activities, support, advice and information for people with physical disabilities and sensory impairments is provided by a number of local organisations. Involve is an umbrella organisation supporting and empowering the voluntary and community sectors across Bracknell Forest and Wokingham providing a central support organisation for volunteers, communities and faith groups. Activities can range from gardening opportunities offered by centres such as Thrive, Riding for the Disabled or sailing offered by Burghfield Sailability as well as smaller, more focussed groups providing friendship and reducing social isolation.
Blind and visually impaired people are supported by the Berkshire County Blind Society which offers trips out, advice on equipment, visiting services and social activities. Similar services are offered by the Reading Deaf Centre for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Signposting to services
Wokingham Borough Council website has a directory that provides information and advice on local and national support groups, clubs and organisations, including services for people with physical disabilities and sensory impairments.
A group of nine physically disabled social care customers with personal budgets were trained as Choice Champions to provide support to people new to personalised services and represent their views.