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News


Law Commission’s DoLS Review proposes new Liberty Protection Safeguards

The Law Commission has today (Monday 13th March) at last delivered its report with its final recommendations to the government on replacing the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

Community Care Online was (very) quick off the blocks to publish an article under the headline Law Commission reveals Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards replacement (with the sub-headline: Government-ordered review recommends replacing DoLS with new two-tier system of human rights protections) . So quick off the blocks that I haven’t had time to read it fully.

You can find an overview and introduction to the report on the the Law Commission website which in turn has links to the report itself (all 270 pages of it!).

Leading chambers 39 Essex Street (specialists in Court of Protection and Mental Capacity Law) will be holding a breakast briefing (sold out!) on the Law Commission proposals tomorrow in central London, from which I suspect news, blog posts etc. will emerge.

We will keep you updated. More on this very  important topic to follow, obviously…

Improving Lives: Ministers deciding ‘how best to move forward’

The government published  ‘Improving Lives’  in the autumn of 2016. This was described as ‘The Work, Health and Disability Green Paper’. If nothing else, it is worth reading the ministerial forward by ministers Damian Green (for the DWP) and Jeremy Hunt (for the DoH), and the Executive Summary.

The government then initiated a consultation: over 4000 organisations, charities (including Rescare) and individuals made submissions. Some of these submissions have been made public by their authors, and in recent days we have posted and tweeted links to them.

The consultation is now closed, and we now have ‘some’ information on when the government will publish its response…

Continue reading

New Terminology for Language Impairments

After years of confusion, there is now international agreement (in the English-speaking world) about what to call ‘unexplained language difficulties’.

While the term Language Disorder is retained, Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) will replace the term Specific Language Impairment (SLI).

I am grateful to the charity Afasic for alerting me to this change via its winter newsletter, in an article by Susan Ebbels a specialist speech and language therapist at Moor House School and member of the CATALISE panel. She also wrote an companion article on the Afasic website from which this is an extract: Continue reading

Consultation on Funding for Supported Housing: Feedback being considered.

In November 2016,  the Government announced a consultation on its  ‘Funding for Supported Housing’ proposals, linked to its ‘evidence review of supported accommodation’ launched late 2015.

The departments involved were i) the Department for Communities and Local Government and ii) the Department for Work and Pensions, and the consultation was described as covering Welfare Reform and Housing for Older and Vulnerable People.

Full details are available on the relevant page of the GOV.UK website.

This is how the Consultation was described: Continue reading

More on Interim Report on Named Social Worker pilot scheme…

(Please regard this news post as an addendum to the post on the same issue from a few days ago. It contains more detail – and to be honest the previous post was issued in a hurry partly to test the automatic linkage of  Rescare’s website, Facebook and Twitter – which seems to be working!)

The following Press Release was issued by SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence) on 15th Feb.

It provides an update on the Named Social Worker project, and announces the release of interim findings in a Learning Report.

The report claims some hope for improvement. Let us hope so. Many carers, including Rescare members, will recognise the reality of the current situation, acknowledged  by  the SCIE’s  Chief Exec: “…people can feel like they’re passed from pillar to post … it seems like common sense to have a named worker but in busy organisations where there’s a natural turnover of staff it can be difficult to get this right”.

Download the Learning Report from here.   For information, the DoH’s earlier initial Baseline Report is also available .

Continue reading

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

RESCARE

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