Securing support to meet the social care needs of children, young people and adults is often challenging. The Coronavirus pandemic inevitably heightened the difficulties many face accessing social care services from over-stretched and under-resourced Local Authorities.
The previous alterations to Local Authorities’ statutory duties under the Care Act 2014 in respect of adult social care are no longer effective. Local authorities must therefore comply with their standard Care Act 2014 statutory duties.
For more information relating to adult social care support, please click on the free information resources available on the right-hand side of this page.
How can our community care solicitors assist with local authority provision/care & support from social services?
At Lester Aldridge, our specialist health and social care solicitors provide advice and support to individuals and/or their representatives to help them access social care services from a local authority, in a way that meets their needs and preferences.
Examples of the types of social care law issues we can assist with include:
- Advising on the availability of services to help meet the social care needs of children and adults, both under the usual Care Act 2014 and children’s legal framework provisions and for any Local Authority operating under the ‘easement’ provisions.
- Reviewing refusals by local authorities to provide care and support, to determine if and how decisions can be challenged.
- Considering decisions made by a Local Authority to activate the Care Act 2014 easement provisions and whether the decision is lawful both in terms of whether the criteria has been met, and whether due process has been followed. Advising on how to fund care and support if you do not satisfy the means test for Local Authority funded care.
- Advising on agreeing to care and support contracts for care put in place because of the simplified Hospital Discharge process. In addition, disputes relating to care and support contracts with reference to the CMA’s guidance.
- Advising on challenging the use of annual reviews to arbitrarily cut care packages or apply stealth cuts to packages.
- Advising on how different care models can be funded and organised, such as supported living, shared lives schemes or residential care. This includes dealing with issues relating to direct payments.
- Obtaining agreement to and negotiating packages of social care. In addition, considering how to maximise choice of accommodation and care packages in the context of the simplified Hospital Discharge process.
- Dealing with the issue of retrospectively charging for care provided as a result of ‘Discharge Today’.
- Reviewing whether a personal budget is sufficient to meet needs and challenging inadequate personal budgets.
- Support to secure funded adaptations to ensure a property is safe and suitable to meet needs through a Disabled Facilities Grant.
It is worth pointing out that any decision taken by a Local Authority, must be made in compliance with the relevant statutory duties, but also in accordance with general public law duties. Any decision taken must comply with human rights obligations and must be lawful, rational and fair.
Obligations under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments, prevent direct or indirect discrimination against protected characteristics and to comply with the public sector equality duty apply.
How can my social care case be funded?
For our community care work involving local authority provision/care & support from social services, there are a variety of funding options.