Newsletter September 2011
Issued on September 13 2011
We are fast approaching the last quarter of 2011, and facing a daunting series of public policy events that will profoundly influence the environment in which voluntary disability organisations operate. Another austerity budget will be announced early in December, for 2012, that may well not have the relatively light touch on disability specific health services that Budget 2011 did. In addition, Departments across government are adjusting and contracting their provision of services under the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure.
The Value for Money and Policy Review of the Disability Services Programme is expected to be completed in November, although not necessarily made public. This will initiate major changes in the funding allocation regime for the Programme. At the same time, implementation work is likely to begin on the Congregated Settings Report, the Day Services Review, and the National Housing Strategy for People with Disabilities, to name a few policy areas.
Although not all the up-coming events threaten reduced resources for the disability sector – and DFI is working hard to protect disability, in keeping with the Government’s stated priority – they must be closely considered, as they will place increased pressure on the planning capacity of organisations.
It is easy to say that organisations must plan strategically if they are to survive in a rapidly evolving and uncertain environment. It is another thing to do it. To gather the relevant information, especially from the people with disabilities for whom an organisation exists, and to map possible ways of working under changing conditions, is challenging. DFI understands the scale of the task we all face, and can support organisations who are responding to this acutely uncomfortable world that is heading our way.
People with disabilities, who are already under severe pressure, need to be able to count on their organisations being able to manoeuvre effectively through rough weather. Organisations must take time to consider and plan in the context of the challenging environment, and where possible working to protect critical public services.