Coronavirus: Lack Of Engagement With DPOs ‘Has Led To Bad Policies’



By John Pring in Disability News Service.


The government is facing claims that its continuing and repeated refusal to consult with disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) has contributed to its failure to protect disabled people’s rights in responding to the coronavirus crisis.

Successive governments since 2012 have been criticised for their failure to engage constructively with DPOs.

Members of the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) wrote to the minister for disabled people this week to question his failure to engage with them and other DPOs in drawing up the government’s planned new disability strategy (see separate story).

But Disability News Service (DNS) has been told that the failure to engage with DPOs has also adversely affected the way the government has handled the coronavirus crisis, leading to a series of attacks on disabled people’s rights, particularly in social care, education and mental health (see separate stories).

Mark Harrison, a member of the ROFA steering group, said the government’s failure to consult with DPOs over its response to the coronavirus pandemic had led to “bad” policies.

He said: “If you don’t involve the objects of policy in developing policy then you get bad policy.”


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