Lying on the floor for hours awaiting help, unable to afford both incontinence pants and food … This is the reality of disability cuts for Stephen, Alex and Elli
When Theresa May was challenged by a disabled voter over cuts to her disability benefits and social care last month, it shone a light on the way Conservative policies post-2010 have disproportionately targeted disabled people. Recent years have seen the introduction of many cuts and changes – from the rollout of “fit to work” tests to the abolition of disability living allowance – as well as a lack of action on existing inequalities, such as inaccessible housing. It all amounts to an unprecedented assault on disabled people’s rights and living standards in Britain.
In a series of interviews over several months, the Guardian has followed three disabled readers – Stephen, Alex, and Elli – as they experience the reality of life since austerity.
To afford a wheelchair, Alex had to sell the TV, phone, plates, mugs, second-hand laptop and clothes
Related: In confronting Theresa May, Kathy has spoken up for all Britain’s disabled people | Frances Ryan
There is no greater indictment of British society than soaring rates of mental distress in children. No wonder politicians cling to a simplistic ‘illness’ model
The public profile of mental health experienced another boost this week, thanks to some moving comments made by Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge about the impact of their mother’s death, nearly 20 years ago. The two royals are working for the Heads Together campaign, which seeks to combat the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and to encourage people to speak more openly about their difficulties.
Harry’s admission that he had ignored his own emotional distress for several years before eventually having counselling was a valuable contribution, from a figure more commonly associated with laddish machismo. William’s focus on male suicide statistics was also a good use of his celebrity.
There is no more damning indictment on British society in 2017 than the prevalence of mental distress among children
Related: The stiff upper lip: why the royal health warning matters
Chief inspector of constabulary says forces increasingly used as service of first resort and face ‘unacceptable drain’ on resources
Police cannot continue to pick up the slack for cuts in other public services, especially the shortage in mental health provision, Her Majesty’s chief inspector of constabulary has warned.
In an annual state of policing report, Sir Tom Winsor highlights a “modern tsunami of online fraud” and increased police awareness of crimes against the elderly and child sexual exploitation as among the increasing daily pressures facing officers.