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Emergency Debate on changes to Personal Independence Payment Regulations

Slightly lost in the news coverage of other events taking place yesterday 30th March (Article 50 Letter, commemoration of the victims of last week’s terrorist attack, George Michael’s funeral ), a significant debate took place in the Commons.

The Speaker, John Bercow, acceded to the request of Shadow Minister Debbie Abrahams and allowed an emergency debate on the proposed Amendments to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Regulations.

A factual description of the circumstances requiring this debate, with links to the written- and video-transcripts is available  on the Parliament website:  https://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2017/march/emergency-debate-on-personal-independence-payments/   Continue reading

Law Commission Report: implications for human rights and restricting powers of health and care professionals

Expert on disability law and (currently occasional) blogger Lucy Series has just posted her initial thoughts on the law Commission proposals for the replacement of the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). These may be found on here on her Small Places website.

As Lucy says, there is a lot to think about… but her thoughts on the implications of the proposals for human rights issues are very interesting. Below I reproduce an excerpt from the blog article . The emboldening and underling of text is mine – an attempt to highlight what  parents and family carers may find particularly interesting. 

Continue reading

Reaction to Channel 4 Dispatches ‘Under Lock and Key’

Last week, I gave you notice of an important documentary, a Channel 4 Dispatches report on people with learning disabilities and autism who become  long-stay patients (effectively residents) of  hospitals and specialist units administered by NHS England. Under Lock and Key was  distressing viewing.

Rescare’s office staff have now seen  the programme via catch-up, and like many, have been left angry and depressed. Personally, I was most upset to realise, from parents’ accounts of their own experiences, how many rights parents lose when a young person becomes an inpatient; and by the programme’s confirming what I actually already knew, that despite post-Winterbourne commitments, there are still over 2,400 people  in ‘specialist’ (sic) hospitals and residential placements.  Former minister at the Department of Health, Norman Lamb, was interviewed for the programme, and seemed especially upset and angry, offering a personal commitment to pursue this issue. Continue reading

Channel 4 Documentary: Under Lock and Key (Wed 1st March, 10pm)

A preview ‘ad’ on Channel 4 last night alerted me to an upcoming documentary ‘Under Lock and Key’ to be screened on Wednesday (1st March) at 10pm, which might be more rewarding viewing than the news.

The program’s page on the Channel 4 website describes it thus: “How best can suitable care be provided for young people with severe learning disabilities?  Thousands of young people with severe learning disabilities and autism are still locked up in hospitals, despite government promises. How best can appropriate care be provided for people who need it?”

Continue reading

DRUK publishes its submission to DWP’s Green Paper “Improving Lives”

Just received from Disability Rights UK (DRUK): a copy of its response to the DWP’s  Work, Health and Disability Green Paper “Improving Lives”.

In it DRUK makes 25 recommendations for halving the disability employment gap consultation.

DRUK begins by  listing its ‘Top Ten’ priority recommendations.

Continue reading

Uncoordinated regulation of shared accommodation for ‘vulnerable people’

I’ll fess up: as the father of an autistic son in supported living  in a Housing Association multi-unit property, I had no idea that my son’s housing was regulated by the Homes and Communities Agency. I noted  the following exchange (Parliamentary Question and Answer) and thought ‘Why, when it comes  to learning disability, is every aspect of provision and regulation so complicated?’ (The phrase ‘Byzantine complexity’ just won’t go away). So let’s hope the Minister and/or the CQC keep their word and we end up with ‘a more targeted, responsive and collaborative approach’…

Continue reading

CQC and its Regulatory Role (FFPR for Directors of Providers)

I feel like I’m being bombarded via tweets and emails from various parties, including the CQC, on the issue of the CQC and the regulation of care services, with many parties having opinions on the (in)effectiveness of the CQC in its various regulatory functions i.e. its fitness for purpose. Some ask whether it is adequately resourced, whether it is  adequately funded, or whether its role is too wide-ranging. (Reminder to self to update this blog post with some of the issues being debated). The CQC itself seems to be carrying out a series of consultations on its role (Again, I will try to update this blog with details).

And then I’m alerted to this exchange (Written Question & Answer) in the Commons considering the CQC effectiveness as a regulator of Providers in terms of Directors meeting Fit and Proper Persons standards.

Continue reading

Dodgy and defensible cuts

Just ‘recovering’ from the January webinar from Belinda Schwehr… on the Care Act, Reviews, Revisions and Reassessments.

Important, informative stuff but it makes your brain hurt. Webinars details are on Belinda’s blog website www.schwehroncare.co.uk .

The webinars are protected intellectual property; but for once, and because some of the content is so jaw-dropping, Belinda has made some slides on dodgy and defensible types of cuts. Continue reading

Why don’t we have a National Care Service?

There has been a lot written recently about the affects of local authority funding cuts on social care. Access to care is now very much a postcode lottery and the whole process is disjointed and in some cases totally shambolic.
Isn’t it about time we looked at a different way to take care of those who through illness, infirmity or a lifelong disability, are unable to look after themselves? A National Care Service.

My focus in this blog is obviously on learning disability, a lifelong condition for which there is no cure and thus care should be a fundamental right.  What would this national care service offer to learning disabled people? Continue reading

Advance notice of ‘the most important week for the Mental Capacity Act in several years’

Just received via an alert from the news service of  39 Essex Chambers (experts on Mental Capacity Act and Court of Protection cases)

“In the most important week for the Mental Capacity Act in several years, two critical aspects of the law in this area will be under scrutiny in the week of 12th December.   On the 13th and 14th, the Court of Appeal will be considering the question of what deprivation of liberty looks like in the intensive care setting in the appeal against the decision of the Divisional Court in R (LF) v HM Chief Coroner for Inner London (South).  This issue is of major significance for all those in clinical practice, and the decision of the Court of Appeal is also likely to have wider ramifications as the first appellate level consideration in any detail of the meaning of the “acid test” set down by the Supreme Court decision in Cheshire West.   On the 14th and 15th, the Supreme Court will, itself, be considering the division between the Court of Protection and the Administrative Court in the appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal in Re MN, and asking – in essence – whether those concerned with making best interests decision in or out of the Court of Protection are confined to choosing between options that are actually available to the person concerned.   The Supreme Court hearing will be streamed live at https://www.supremecourt.uk/. ”

Complicated but important. We will try to publish news of decisions and reactions.

 

RESCARE

The Society for Children and Adults
with Learning Disabilities and their Families

 

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