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News


An Important Report on Welfare Cases in the Court of Protection

Having been trailed by amongst others one of its co-authors, Lucy Series (author of the excellent blog on the law and learning disability, The Small Places ) and  Alex Ruck Keene (of 39 Essex Street Chambers ,and overall a Court of Protection ‘guru’), this week has seen the publication of a highly significant research report ‘The Participation of P in Welfare Cases in the Court of Protection’ (P in COP terminology is always the persons whose capacity and interests are under consideration by the Court).

The reports authors (Lucy Series, Phil Fennel & Julie Doughty) are participants in an ongoing research project at Cardiff Law School. This project ‘Welfare Cases in the Court of Protection’ is funded by the Nuffield Foundation.   It is seeking to gather robust empirical data on welfare cases in the Court of Protection – a court established in its current role under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.  The Mental Capacity Act was intended to provide a legal framework for the making of a wide range of decisions on behalf of people who are said to lack mental capacity. Continue reading

The 6% sticking point. MPs debate learning disabilities and employment levels.

What steps the Government are taking to ensure that people with learning difficulties are supported into work?

“Governments of all persuasions have tried and failed to shift the employability rate of those with learning disabilities from 6%. That rate is an absolute waste of the huge amounts of talent and enthusiasm that are out there.”

“When we talk about people with learning disabilities, we are talking about a huge range of individuals. We have not done enough for those who are at the highest-need end of that spectrum, and I hope we will be able to do more shortly.”

They are actually considering matters other than Brexit (!), and on Monday 20th February MPs considered the thorny issue of employment rates amongst the learning disabled, and the support given to people with learning disabilities. Typically, there was some cross-over in terminology, even when current and former ministers were speaking and there were references to learning disabilities and learning difficulties. Continue reading

Virgin Care wins £700m contract to run 200 NHS and social care services

Sir Richard Branson’s health firm, Virgin Care, has won a £700m contract to deliver 200 types of NHS and social care services to more than 200,000 people in Bath and north-east Somerset.

This represents a landmark, especially in the delivery of social care, and provoked angry and worried responses about the ‘privatisation’ of social care.

Continue reading

DoH publishes Interim Report on Named Social Worker Pilot Scheme

We have been alerted today by press releases from both the Department of Health  and SCIE that the DoH has published an interim report ‘Reflect and Refine’ on the Named Social Worker pilot scheme.

This is how the DoH describes the scheme: 

The Department of Health commissioned the Innovation Unit in partnership with the SCIE to deliver the Named Social Worker pilot project in six sites as part of efforts to strengthen the rights of service users and their families.

This project is exploring what a named social worker might look like for people with learning disabilities, autism or mental health issues, however, for the 6 months of the pilot, all of the sites are focusing on people with learning disabilities.

The sites will have the opportunity to develop the practice, devise how impact is measured and refine a NSW service model. Each site will be responsible for developing their plan, with assistance and coaching from the Innovation Unit and SCIE team.

Continue reading

A considered and serious paper about what’s gone wrong in adult social care…

Just published by the Centre for Welfare Reform (CWR):  a paper by Belinda Schwehr entitled ‘legal_literacy‘Legal Literacy in Adult Social Care”.

Belinda introduces it as ‘a considered and serious paper about what’s gone wrong in adult social care’. The CWR describes it as ‘provocative’.

It is hard not to be come angry and depressed at its analysis of what has and is still going wrong; you may even feel some sympathy for social care professionals, faced with systemic pressure to ‘de-professionalise’. Continue reading

Centre for Social Justice Report on Housing Provision for Adults with Learning Disabilities

need for communityThe Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) was established as an independent think-tank in 2004. It was founded by the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP (‘IDS’) in reaction to his investigation of poverty and social deprivation. CSJ is thus concerned particularly with social breakdown, its causes, and its prevention and alleviation. Whilst described by some as ‘right-leaning’, CSJ is well aware of many people’s loss of faith in politicians: ‘Many people he (IDS) met had given up on politicians because they felt politicians had given up on them.  The political process had become irrelevant in their lives; Westminster was failing to play its part in getting to grips with Britain’s deepest social problems.’

In late June 2016, the CSJ published its report The Need for Community ( A Study of Housing Provision for Adults with Learning Disabilities). To view or download this important report as a PDF,  click  here.  Several Rescare members submitted evidence to the CSJ (after Rescare was contacted by a representative of the CSJ, seeking the thoughts of people with first hand experience of the issues involved).

Continue reading

Parliamentary Committee launches Inquiry into funding and quality of Adult Social Care

On 9th June the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee announced the launch of an inquiry into the financial sustainability of local authority adult social care and the quality of care provided.

inquiry

This inquiry will, in essence examine whether local authorities have enough money to meet their statutory duties under the Care Act. It is prompted by demands from non-governmental organisations such as the Centre for Welfare Reform, and by warnings from worried local authority representatives.
The Committee Chair Clive Betts MP explained: “Adult Social Care provides a lifeline to some of the most vulnerable people in society but is coming under increasing pressure as a result of growing demand and declining local authority budgets. Our inquiry will look at the financial sustainability of this care and support to see what can be done to allow councils to continue to meet their legal obligations for future generations.” Continue reading

All Party Parliamentary Group for Disability seeks responses to inquiry into ‘the disability employment gap’

appgWe have been notified via emails and postings from Disability Rights UK and other charity groups that the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Disability is inviting written submissions, addressing some key questions and themes to inform its inquiry “How the Government can fulfil its pledge to halve the disability employment gap”.

The deadline for responses is Monday 4th July 2016.

Note:  this inquiry is by the APPG on Disability (there is a separate APPG on Learning Disability), but persons with a learning disability, their parents, family or carers, may have relevant experience of or opinions about employment.

Here are full details of the questions being asked, and the instructions for submitting a response: Continue reading

The Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 became law on 9 May 2016

NI_AssemblyFurther to a recent posting on the enactment of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 (ADMC  Act)  in  the Republic of Ireland, we should now point out that on 25th May, the speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly,  Robin Newton , announced:

“I wish to inform the Assembly that the Housing (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2016, the Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016, the Rural Needs Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 and the Shared Education Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 became law on 9 May 2016″.

Continue reading

Statistics on patients in an inpatient setting with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorder and/or behaviour that challenges

A recent parliamentary Q&A exchange emphasises the (lack of) progress regarding inpatients, and suggests how obdurate this ‘problem’ is,  despite repeatedly stated ambitions to reduce the numbers.
Department of Health
Long Stay Patients: Learning Disability
Q Asked by Luciana Berger, Shadow Minister (Mental Health)
“To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the number of people with learning disabilities residing in long-stay hospitals in each year since 2013.”
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