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'Institutional care for disabled people in Europe continues to fall short of acceptable standards in many cases,' concludes a study published on 29 January by the European Commission. The study recommends wider use of quality community-based services.

'Well over one million disabled people still live in some form of institution in Europe today. The quality of life in these institutions varies greatly and dignity for their residents is not always guaranteed,' commented Vladimir Spidla, the European Union's Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. The member states and stakeholders need to transform institutional services for the disabled into quality social services in the community. Such community-based services are not more expensive than institutional care once the needs of residents and quality of care are taken into account in...

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