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News


Parliament and Amendments PIP Regulations: an Update

Further to our previous post, a further emergency Commons debate on the Amendments to the PIP Regulations has been granted by the government, to be held on 19th April, after MPs return from their Easter break.

The status of the debate is slightly complicated, but the (unfortunate) fact is that the Government does not have to act upon the results of the vote on the 19th – although the fact that the debate is taking place at all reflects the levels of concern and interest inside and outside the House.

The best explanatory account of the background to the upcoming debate currently available seems to be on the website of the Shadow Minister, Debbie Abrahams.

Please see the page an her website, entitled ‘PIP Regulations – Emergency Debate’  , created on 31st March.  Continue reading

Communities and Local Government Committee Report: social care funding needs urgent Government review

Just published today (31st March), the Communities and Local Government Committee’s report on its inquiry into adult social care.

Background information and links to the Report here on the Committee’s website .

Some depressing reading (Key Facts, Impact Analysis) from the Reports Executive Summary. (Read on for its recommendations).

Continue reading

N v ACCG: a landmark Supreme Court Judgement on the role of Court of Protection

A significant ruling by Lady Hale yesterday in the Supreme Court is being reported and commented on today, which (if I understand correctly) will  have significant impact on how the Court of Protection undertakes its role in future.

The most important article has appeared here on the Court of Protection Handbook website under the headline “Best interests, available options, and case management before the Court of Protection – the Supreme Court pronounces”.

Continue reading

PIP: MPs debate Personal Independence Payment (Amendment) Regulations 2017

Recent parliamentary business (aside from Brexit) has been conspicuous for the numbers of questions asked about disability and benefits, especially about DLA and PIP. On 16th March the new Personal Independence Payment (Amendment) Regulations 2017 came into force.

On the previous day, 15th March, an Urgent Question  from Debbie Abrahams,  Shadow Secretary of State For Work and Pensions (“To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to make a statement regarding the recommendations of the Social Security Advisory Committee on the new Personal Independence Payment (Amendment) Regulations 2017, which are due to come into force tomorrow”) allowed  Damian Green, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to state the government’s intentions, and then to reply to (a barrage) of questions from MPs.

Continue reading

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

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