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Another month to wait.

Reacting to today's (Thursday 28 September) announcement to defer decision on funding of sleep-in overnight care for a further month, pending more in-depth analysis of liabilities, Royal Mencap Society Chairman, Derek Lewis said:

"It is deeply disappointing that, after many months of review and consideration, the Government is still not able to announce any decision on the provision of support for care providers faced with a £400 million back pay liability as a result of changes in Government guidance on payments for sleep-ins. The further delay will mean that people with a learning disability, their families and carers are subjected to yet more uncertainty and anxiety, while providers will be forced to delay essential investment, and local authorities will struggle to persuade providers to take on new contracts.

"It is nevertheless encouraging that the Government appears to accept the need to support the sector in dealing with the £400 million back pay liability. It remains essential that the sector receives full funding for this liability to avoid unacceptable harm to people with a learning disability and insolvencies among providers.

"Ensuring the proper care for those with disabilities and funding the cost of it remains a statutory responsibility of government, including the cost of this U-turn in the Government's interpretation of its own rules. We will work constructively with Government during the next month to deepen its understanding and appreciation of the impact of back-pay bills on the sector but the future of learning disability care across the UK is still hanging in the balance."

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact the Mencap press office on 020 7696 5414 or media@mencap.org.uk or for out of hours 07770 656 659.

Notes to editors

Please see the below previous Mencap press release for background to the #StopSleepinCrisis campaign and here for earlier releases on the issue.

Future of learning disability care in the UK hangs in the balance - With only 25 days until the pause in HMRC enforcement action is lifted on 2 October, Royal Mencap Society (Mencap) Chairman, Derek Lewis today (Wednesday) set out the major repercussions if Government fails to fund or only partially funds the £400 million 'sleep-ins' back pay bill.