Disabled people are being urged to take part in a government consultation so they can draw attention to the growing staffing crisis in social care.
The consultation on the impact of Brexit and the ending of freedom of movement on staffing in the adult social care sector closes on 29 October.
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) says that disabled people across the country are reporting serious problems in recruiting and retaining personal assistants (PAs) and other social care staff.
It wants the government to “make rule changes to allow overseas personal assistants and live-in social care agency staff to enter the country and work so that disabled employers can continue to live independent lives”.
Linda Burnip, DPAC’s co-founder, has written to Stephen Chandler, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, to ask him to support the call, telling him that for disabled people who employ PAs “it is now almost impossible to recruit new staff”.
She tells him: “In the past, especially for those needing live-in care, many people used specialist care agencies which also provided a safety net while people were recruiting replacement PA staff.”
But she says that this route “no longer exists and many agencies have been forced to refuse new clients particularly those which support people with high support needs such as Spinal Cord Injuries”.
And she says that PAs are now asking for as much as £285 a day, which is far more than they receive from their funders.
DPAC has provided guidance for those responding to the consultation, which is being carried out by the Migration Advisory Committee on behalf of the government.
The committee is due to report back to the government by the end of April 2022.
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