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John Adams, director of contract services for Scope said:

'Scope wants to see far better standards throughout the UK for disabled people receiving services. We run £40 million worth of services with a comprehensive approach to quality assurance. Additional protection procedures we instituted this year will alone cost us tens of thousands of pounds.

'Frank Dobson said that 'doing things better isn't always more expensive than doings things badly', but we can demonstrate the costs involved. Local authorities are constantly putting pressure on our fee structures and we are not able to pass the cost of upgrading standards, including protection, onto our local authority purchasers.

'Scope is already subsidising government funded care provision by several million pounds each year. A Joseph Rowntree Trust report this year identified a widening care gap between the true cost of providing services and what local authorities are prepared to pay. Without some recognition of the real cost of high quality provision, voluntary organisations will face increasing pressure to subsidise such services.

'We recognised the urgency of better protection for disabled Children's rights and adults and introduced our own procedures over six months ago. As Mr DobsonÃs proposals missed this yearÃs QueenÃs Speech, we are disappointed that improved arrangements to protect disabled people will have to wait some years until they become fully effective. But it is good to see clear action plans and standard setting to end the patchy delivery dependent upon location.'

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