Chorley family back campaign to plug £1.5 billion funding gap in disabled children's services

The Chorley parents of a disabled seven-year-old has backed calls for the government to plug a funding gap in disabled children's services of £1.5 billion.

Friday, 13th July 2018, 4:08 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:16 pm
Rick and Lynsey Bolton are parents to seven-year-old Isaac who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Pictured here in 2015.

Rick and Lynsey Bolton are parents to seven-year-old Isaac who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

Rick said: “It is about time the public realise the lack of support and services available to the growing population of families like ours who are delivering round the clock care for our children.

"We do everything we can to ensure Isaac has the very best chance to thrive, but it’s not easy and we rely on the help of organisations like WellChild and campaigns such as the Disabled Children’s Partnership to highlight the gaps in funding and support.”

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Lynsey with Isaac in 2015.

Economic research published today by the Disabled Children’s Partnership – a coalition of 60 charities - shows there is a funding gap for services needed by UK disabled children of £1.5 billion.

This investment shortfall and its consequences is being highlighted in tonight’s (Monday, July 16) Panorama, 'Fighting for my Child'.

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Stephen Kingdom, Campaign Manager at DCP, said: “There are over one million disabled children in the UK, 33% more than a decade ago.

"Yet we know that fewer disabled children than ever before are currently getting support.

"Our research shows there is a funding gap in disabled children’s services which means tens of thousands are missing out on vital help that enables them to do things other children take for granted like eat, talk, leave the house, have fun and attend school.

“Tonight’s Panorama will highlight the consequences of this – families at their wits end having to go to court to fight for vital support and dealing with a system with limited and dwindling resources.

"That’s why we are urgently calling on the government to plug the £1.5 billion gap – just 0.2% of total government spending – to ensure disabled children and their families have a decent quality of life.”

DCP’s research carried out by Development Economics, found that there is a £1.1 billion shortfall in funding for health services for disabled children and £433 million extra needed for social care.

Stephen Kingdom added: “Families with disabled children are often hidden away from public view and struggling under the pressure of providing round the clock care, 365 days a year.

“When families reach crisis point, they are forced to use unplanned, emergency services which are hugely expensive to the taxpayer.

"It makes no sense to deny families of disabled children the services they need – doing so means storing up even bigger problems for the future.”