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UN report criticises UK welfare policies’ impact on patients with disabilities

RCN vows to continue promoting ‘vital work’ of learning disability nurses.
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A new report reveals the negative impact of UK government welfare policies on patients with disabilities.

The RCN has vowed to continue promoting the work of learning disability nurses in the wake of the findings.

The report from the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities concluded that the UK has not done enough to protect the rights of people with disabilities to live independently, work and enjoy social protection without discrimination.

These are the shared goals of countries that sign up to the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, as the UK did in 2007.

Education issues

Regarding

A new report reveals the negative impact of UK government welfare policies on patients with disabilities.


RCN learning disability professional lead Ann Norman says the report’s findings are ‘shameful and alarming’.
Picture: Mark Hakansson

The RCN has vowed to continue promoting the work of learning disability nurses in the wake of the findings.

The report from the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities concluded that the UK has not done enough to protect the rights of people with disabilities to live independently, work and enjoy social protection without discrimination.

These are the shared goals of countries that sign up to the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, as the UK did in 2007.

Education issues

Regarding the UK government’s education policy, the committee highlighted that:

  • A dual education system persists that segregates children with disabilities to special schools.
  • The education system is not geared to respond to the requirement for high-quality inclusive education. The UN report highlights occurrences of school authorities turning down enrolment of students with disability who are deemed ‘disruptive to other classmates’.
  • Education and training of teachers in inclusion competences is not reflecting the requirements of inclusive education.

Access to healthcare was raised as another major concern, with the committee stating there is a lack of access to sexual health services and family planning education for people with disabilities.

No surprise

RCN learning disability professional lead Ann Norman said: ‘Nothing in this report should have surprised anyone – we’ve been saying most of it for years.

‘Nonetheless, the findings are shameful and really alarming, and once again highlight how patients are being short-changed.

‘The RCN will continue to fight on and promote the vital work of learning disability nurses who provide the very support the UN is talking about.’

A UK government spokesperson said it was disappointed that the report ‘did not accurately reflect the evidence we gave to the UN’ and failed to recognise the progress it had made to empower people with disabilities in all aspects of their lives.


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