Austerity and the lives of people with learning disabilities. A thematic synthesis of current literature

M. Malli, L. Sams, Rachel Forrester-Jones, Glynis H. Murphy, M. Henwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (SciVal)


The Financial Crisis of 2008 resulted in many western economies implementing cuts in health and social care. This systematic review provides a holistic picture of the impact of austerity policy on the lives of people with learning disabilities (LD) and the collateral effects on the people who support them. Our review suggests that in the current climate of economic austerity, available funding to support people with LD is no longer aligned to their care needs. Cuts in disability services have adversely affected the well-being both of people with LD and their informal carers. Individuals with LD have lost social support and are experiencing increased social isolation. Heightened demands on family carers? time have negatively influenced their wider roles, including parental functioning, and labour market participation. Our review provides the foundations for further discourse and research on the effects of austerity on people with LD and their family carers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability & Society
Early online date11 Nov 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Nov 2018


  • austerity
  • budget cuts
  • family/informal carers
  • learning disabilities
  • personalisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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