9th Feb 2018: Joint Committee on Human Rights launches inquiry into DOLS reform
Rescare covered the issue of DOLS and the repercussions of the Cheshire West case in several articles in Resnews, our newsletter to members, in 2016 and 2017. One of the repercussions of that case was that the Court of Protection became clogged with literally thousands of DOLS applications from local authorities, despite various attempts to develop a fast-tracking mechanism. The feeling of many was that the current situation re DOLS is unsustainable, not least the Law Commission, who in March 2017 called for DOLS to be replaced ‘as a matter of pressing urgency’.
We are grateful to the 39 Essex Street chambers for alerting us to the following in its latest ‘Mental Capacity’ bulletin:
Whilst we await the Government’s response to the Law Commission’s Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty report, the Joint Committee on Human Rights has launched an inquiry into ‘the right to freedom and safety: Reform of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.’ Continue reading
Appointment of new minister reflects (hopefully) government’s higher priority for adult social care.
From Community Care Jan 23rd 2018
Caroline Dinenage will be the minister of state overseeing adult social care, the Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed.
The decision to give the remit to Dinenage marks an elevation in the importance of adult social care within the government following it being handed to a junior minister for the first time in eight years in the 2016 reshuffle.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care said the decision to give the responsibility for adult social care to a minister of state rather than a parliamentary under secretary of state reflected the expanded portfolio of the department following Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest reshuffle of her ministerial team earlier this month.
Rescare welcomes the minister to her new position, and also the fact that adult social care is now the remit of a minister of state.
PPS. Reminder to self – it’s now the Department of Health and Social Care. I must start to use the new acronym DHSC !
PIP: On 21st December 2017 Justice Mostyn delivered his judgement in the High Court in the case of RF v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
The individual (RF) was a client of the charity Public Law Project, and was supported by the mental health charity MIND and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), who appeared as 1st and 2nd Interveners in the case. The court also heard statements from the charities The National Autistic Society, Inclusion London, Revolving Doors and Disability Rights UK.
Details of the judgement are available here on the Public Law Projects website . Continue reading
On 17th October, in a Westminster Hall, Catherine McKinnell, Labour MP for Newcastle North, introduced a debate amongst MPs with the following words: “I beg to move that this House has considered supporting and safeguarding adults with learning disabilities”.
In doing so, she was again highlighting the truly shocking murder of Lee Irving and speaking for Lee’s family, asking what had changed since 2015 to prevent similar incidents.
The full transcript of the debate is available via this link and we encourage you to read it (It is not too long). Continue reading
Just a quick reminder to Rescare members...
Rescare AGM is on 6th October 2017 at the Friends Meeting House, Stockport
Location details: www.stockportmeetinghouse.org.uk/location/
Members should have already received their invitation in the post a few weeks ago. If you now decide to attend, please notify us by phone or email.
Some disturbing news from Sussex, reported by BBC local news:
“Police inquiries and unannounced inspections have been carried out at disability care homes in West Sussex.
They were in response to “significant safeguarding concerns” after a number of reported deaths.
The Care Quality Commission was alerted to Sussex Health Care services by West Sussex County Council…”
This story does not appear yet to have gone ‘national’, presumably pending the results of these initial investigations, and has only been re-reported by a few news agencies. Continue reading
The pressures on the funding of Social Care in the year are stated bluntly in the latest annual Budget Survey from The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) – published at the end of June.
Please read this this press release from ADASS which summarises the result of the survey.
The depressing fact is that “… less than 7 per cent of Directors feel at all optimistic about the future financial state of the local health and care economy in their own area”. It is not surprising Directors are “finding it increasingly hard to implement planned cuts in practice”.
Last minute changes to Better Care Fund guidance, announced this week by minister Jeremy Hunt, saw the Department of Health insert a threat to review funding allocations for councils that fail to meet targets to cut delayed discharges. ADASS reacted angrily, accusing the government of imposing “completely unacceptable” conditions on councils getting a share of £2bn of extra social care funding and saying that the new conditions damaged the ability of councils to plan for the future. This development is described in detail in an article in Community Care online entitled “Government changes to care funding guidance ‘unacceptable’”.
There are sure to be further developments around social care funding in the coming months, and Rescare will keep you updated…