Health bosses planned to limit showers and meals for the disabled, create long wait lists for specialist care, and refuse help for autistic children as part of a desperate cost-saving bid.

Documents obtained by the Herald on Sunday reveal the "ruthless" cuts disability funding agencies offered to make after a $100m sector overspend this year - suggestions so appalling a national rollout was eventually stopped.

However, advocates, providers and their disabled clients say the cuts - designed to save $10m by June, and $20 million each year after - are now simply happening by stealth instead.

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