Cornish MP fights for carers of disabled children

Posted on: 20th May 2011

West Cornwall MP Andrew George is calling for new laws to help the carers of severely disabled children. He is seeking cross party support from fellow MPs in the Commons by tabling a Parliamentary Motion. Mr George is working with the Mawgan based Henry Spink Foundation – an independent local family led charity – to significantly improve the support provided by local authorities for disabled children, adults and their carers.  They are jointly campaigning for 1) portable care packages and assessments for those disabled people and carers who work between local authorities and 2) the creation of a new Independent Social Services Tribunal which would improve the lives of thousands of severely disabled children and adults and their carers across the UK. Mr George, who has been a long term supporter of the work of Michael and Henrietta Spink, the founders of the Henry Spink Foundation, said:  “For years it’s been a question of ‘out of sight out of mind’! Many of the most disabled people and their carers are hardly seen. Because they spend so much time struggling with the often meagre support they are offered they become invisible and voiceless in the corridors of power.” The Henry Spink Foundation was born out of a wish to provide information and support in order to save future families from the years of isolation, frustration and exhaustion experienced by the Spink family and thousands of others.

Over the last 5 years the Henry Spink Foundation has helped over 250,000 people through their on-line database of information. The data base is freely available to all through the Foundation’s website. “We are delighted that Andrew George is so supportive of our campaign to help disabled children and adults as well as their carers and families,” said Michael and Henrietta Spink. “We are proposing highly focused changes in social care legislation which will help a very vulnerable group of people and will, we believe, save local authorities significant amounts of money without affecting delivery of services.” Andrew George and the Henry Spink Foundation are working to bring these reforms into law, so that support for disabled people, both children and adults, will be focussed on the needs of the individual. Mr George wants to ensure that in the future families and carers of severely disabled children will avoid the anguish and desperation felt by the Spinks’ and many other silently heroic individuals throughout Cornwall.  There are 770,000 disabled children in the UK. Over £1.75 billion was spent on assessment and care management and £13.1 billion on adult social care by local authorities in 2007-8 across the UK. The 2001 Census suggested that there are 5.2 million carers in England and Wales.