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For many professionals working with children, adults living with an injury, illness or disability, or adults in later life, navigating the complexities of community care law can be challenging.

Some professionals may not even be aware that they are regularly dealing with complex matters of community care law when supporting their clients or service users.

Our expert community care solicitors and specialists can provide a range of services to a variety of professionals to ensure the individuals they support can access care, support and accommodation commensurate with their care needs.

How can our community care solicitors assist professionals?

At Lester Aldridge, we provide advice and assistance to professionals in relation to a wide variety of community care law matters. Our lawyers aim to provide you with the support required to ensure that your clients can achieve the best possible outcomes. Due to the wealth of our knowledge, experience and expertise we are uniquely placed to provide services to:

  • Charities, education and care providers.
  • Professional deputies, attorneys and executors.
  • Financial advisors.
  • Other solicitors and legal advisors – in particular personal injury and clinical negligence solicitors, Court of Protection and private client solicitors, and family solicitors.
  • Case managers.

See below for more information about the ways in which we can assist professionals.

Charities, education and care providers

We can work with existing teams to offer a range of services which include:

  • A file audit service whereby a member of the Community Care team is seconded to review files, identify issues which ought to be addressed (for example, significant cuts to a service user’s provision), and provide advice as to how the issue should be addressed.
  • Ad hoc advice, assistance and support. For example, we can deliver this support through the provision of a helpline to advise service staff or service users.
  • Advice clinics to service users of charities, education and care providers.
  • Case specific advice and assistance to deal with a substantive issue, such as an NHS Continuing Healthcare claim or best interests decision making.
  • Bespoke training programmes for staff. For example, a webinar or face-to-face seminar on the topic of NHS Continuing Healthcare claims.
  • Guides and factsheets to help users of your services identify how they can fund access to your care and support. For example, a guide to funding residential care for adults in later life or a guide to SEND provision for parents, children and young people accessing a conductive education centre.

We also work closely with our Charities and Healthcare teams to ensure we can provide charities, education and care providers with a holistic service. Examples of how our specialist teams can assist include:

  • Advising on how to resolve funding disputes between care providers and public bodies.
  • Preparing for CQC inspections and dealing with CQC disciplinary actions.
  • Dealing with issues concerning the setting up, organisation, formation and registration of a new charitable arm or social enterprise.

Professional deputies, attorneys and executors

We can advise professional deputies in respect of all education, health and social care related issues to ensure they are acting in the best interests of P.

As a professional deputy or attorney, you have a duty to act in P’s best interests. It is clearly in P’s best interests to ensure that the availability of education, health and social care provision has been investigated and secured. This is particularly important if P may be eligible for non-means tested NHS provision which helps to maximise P’s assets and income.

Services we can offer include:

  • A file audit service whereby we complete an annual review of all Deputyships managed to ensure all education, health and social care issues are addressed. We can provide reports for each Deputyship file to enable Professional Deputies to demonstrate to the OPG compliance with the 5 Professional Deputy Standards.
  • Ad hoc advice, assistance and support in respect of education, health and social care issues which arise in the course of Deputyship management. All advice is formalised, with a breakdown of costs for the Deputyship file to justify the time spent to the OPG within your OPG Annual Report.
  • Case specific advice and assistance to deal with a substantive issue, such as an NHS Continuing Healthcare claim or best interests decision making.
  • Bespoke training programmes for professional deputies. For example, a webinar or face-to-face seminar, Introduction to Community Care law for Professional Deputies.

All of the above services are equally relevant to professional attorneys and/or executors (subject to slight variances to reflect the role of the professional).

Financial advisors

We can offer a range of services to complement the advice provided by financial advisors. These include:

  • Ad hoc advice, assistance and support in respect of education, health and social care issues which arise in the course of client management.
  • Case specific advice and support to deal with a substantive issue. In the context of the later life sector, NHS Continuing Healthcare claims, Personal Health Budgets, and Local Authority funded Care Packages, may be of particular relevance.

Bespoke training programmes for financial advisors. For example, a webinar or face-to-face seminar, Introduction to Community Care Law for Financial Advisors.

We can offer all of our services to other law firms and advice providers who may not have community care and education law expertise in-house.

Our services may be relevant to:

Personal injury and clinical negligence solicitors

Community Care is essential to personal injury and clinical negligence claimants because it provides a mechanism to ensure a claimant receives care and support during the continuance of a claim, until such time as an interim payment or settlement of the claim is agreed.

Unless the availability of statutory education, health and social care provision is investigated, the claimant may be left unsupported with their immediate care needs during the claim.

In a case where the Claimant has complex needs, the starting point may be to obtain an independent Immediate Needs Assessment (INA) from an Expert. Such a Report may help to establish exactly what the Claimant’s care needs are and what provision is required to meet need. This Report can then be used to help set priorities for the statutory provision required to meet need as well as a tool to help negotiate a package of appropriate care with the responsible public bodies.

We recognise that costs can be prohibitive. Where there is a personal injury or clinical negligence claim, costs can be claimed from the Defendant as an item of Special Damage within the Schedule of Loss. In an appropriate case we will defer payment of our legal fees until such time as an interim payment or settlement of the claim is agreed with the Defendant.

Court of Protection and private client solicitors

We can provide advice and assistance to ensure your client can access education, health and social care provision, to complement Court of Protection and Private Client services.

This is particularly relevant to the later life sector because Local Authority funded care provision is means tested and so there is a very real need to consider eligibility for NHS provision and challenge refusals to award funding where appropriate in order to ensure you are acting in your client’s best interests.

Family solicitors

If you are instructed in relation to a divorce that involves a disabled child, it is highly likely that the Family Court will expect your client to have investigated what statutory provision may be available to meet the needs of a disabled child.

We can provide detailed advice, which explains statutory provision for disabled children, how to secure provision, and the costs of legal advice and assistance to both secure and maintain provision. This advice can be used to assist the Family Court to determine a financial settlement.

Case managers

As the Community Care team at Lester Aldridge works closely with our specialist injury lawyers, we have significant experience of working with case managers in the context of injury litigation.

It is essential to ensure that the availability of statutory services is thoroughly explored for any client you are supporting, to ensure what limited funding is available is not used unnecessarily for therapies or services that ought to be funded by a Local Authority or NHS body.

Understanding how to secure services or challenge the decisions of public bodies in relation to education, health and social care provision on behalf of your client can be daunting.

Services we can provide include:

  • A file audit service whereby a member of the Community Care team is seconded to review files, identify what education, health and social care provision your client may be entitled to, or specific issues which ought to be addressed (for example, significant cuts to a service user’s provision or an inadequate EHCP which ought to be challenged), and provide advice as to how the issue(s) should be addressed.
  • Ad hoc advice, assistance and support. For example, we can deliver this support through the provision of a helpline to advise case managers as required.
  • Case specific advice and assistance to deal with a substantive issue, such as an NHS Continuing Healthcare claim, challenge to an EHCP at a Tribunal, or application to the Court of Protection to resolve a health & welfare dispute.
  • Bespoke training programmes for case managers. For example, a webinar or face to face seminar on topics such as EHCPs and SEND provision for children and young persons living with an injury, illness or disability, or relating to provision for adults living with a brain injury.

What are the funding options for my Community Care case?

For our work with professionals, there are a variety of funding options.


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