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New report

Municipalities fail to provide care for disabled

Updated onsdag 4 maj 2011 kl 20.45
Published onsdag 4 maj 2011 kl 10.15

Many municipalities deny disabled people the help they are entitled to, or they are forced to wait for a very long time before they receive the help, according to the National Board on Health and Welfare.

In many cases municipal authorities are also intentionally slow to make individual assessments because they want to avoid fines.

“It takes too long before people are granted the help they are entitled to,” Håkan Ceder, at the board, told Swedish Radio News. “We also have examples of serious abuse happening in certain care establishments.”

People with mental disabilities or both mental and physical disabilities are given help under the so called LSS law, and many live in LSS housing establishments where they have access to staff and other kinds of aid, such as lifts.

But according to the new report many of the LSS establishments, governed by the municipal authorities, fail to provide adequate care and in some cases the department has also discovered serious abuse.

One example that got a lot of media attention in 2010 was a disabled man who had had his hands tied behind his back several hours every day for 25 years to prevent him from injuring himself.

The board also found that the municipalities don’t follow the guidelines on leisure activities or other activities which are there to ensure that also disabled people have a chance to live a normal life, Håkan Ceder said.

According to the report, there are signs of a return to institutionalised living, where there is little stimulation and far too many live at the same accommodation. It is the local councils that are responsible for the care of the disabled.

According to Per-Anders Sunesson, head of inspections at the board of Board of Health and Welfare, many councils do not allocate enough money to this sector. "It is basically a lack of prioritisation," he told the news agency TT.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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