Welcome to this week's Independent Living news roundup.
19.02.20 Contents:
Care home top-up fees
Where to visit in 2020?
Motability vehicles
Discretionary Housing Payments
Vaping and epigenetic changes
Latest - Academy of Fabulous Stuff
1. Care home top-up fees

Care home top-up fees are a contentious issue. This is money paid by residents or their families on top of the rate charged to the local authority, in order to secure a place in a home of their choice.

The ombudsman has recently had to remind councils that they should not be delegating this arrangement to the care home, but administering it themselves.

Why is this important? Read on here


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2. Where to visit in 2020?

The accessibility charity Euan's Guide has recently announced the eight regional winners of their annual awards for accessible venues which stand out for the welcome they provide to visitors with a disability.

Hundreds were nominated, but in the end, the winners were clear...

Find out who they are here


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3. Motability vehicles

According to Motability, there are now 633,000 cars and 17,000 scooters and power chairs being leased through the scheme, a total of 650,000 vehicles. But some 102,000 people have had to hand back the keys as their benefit was withdrawn on reassessment. Read more here

And still on adapted vehicles, I was dismayed to hear that Mike Wood MBE, founder of the Disabled Sailors Association, who lost his Motability car in floods nearly six months ago, is not only still without this is essential item, but is facing another nine months wait before he gets a replacement - you can read the sad story here


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4. Discretionary Housing Payments

The Department for Work and Pensions has recently released figures which show that 76,000 households had their benefits capped: 37,000 by a reduction in housing benefit, and 40,000 through a reduction in the housing component of Universal Credit.

While the number of households whose housing benefit has been capped has fallen, the number of those affected through Universal Credit is rising.

More than one in 10 of those affected are receiving Employment and Support Allowance, meaning that they are not fit to work.

More details here


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5. Vaping and epigenetic changes

Anyone who still thinks vaping is a good idea would do well to look at the latest research from University of Southern California.

They found people who use e-cigarettes develop cancer-related molecular changes similar to smokers.

Find out more here


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6. Latest - Academy of Fabulous Stuff

We spend an awful lot of time collectively examining things that have gone wrong with the NHS.

A habit which is unlikely to improve the positivity of either the dedicated people who work there or the rest of us when we need their expert services.

In truth, there is a lot more right than wrong, and a great way to see some of the best ideas being shared is to visit the Academy of Fabulous Stuff, which celebrated its fifth birthday on Valentine's Day!


The Supreme Court heard two cases concerning payment for sleep-in shifts last week. They have now retired to consider their opinion, but that is apparently not expected for about three months. Look out for an update once the judgement is handed down.


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Previous newsletters are archived here.

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That's it until next week! 

Thank you for reading and best wishes,


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Frances Leckie

e: editor @ independentliving.co.uk
t: +44 (0) 208 133 0628
Skype: francesleckie
w: www.independentliving.co.uk
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