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On 24 February 2010 we published a consultation paper< on adult social care, which contains our detailed proposals for law reform.  We welcome written responses from all interested parties.  A press release< is also available.

The consultation paper is also available in Welsh [shortly to be available] and large print [shortly to be available].

Join in the discussion now!

We have set up a blog< on our adult social care consultation to provide a discussion forum for all those with an interest in adult social care.  The blog also provides the latest news about the consultation and information about consultation meetings.  Tell us what you think now!

Supporting documents

In addition to the full consultation paper, we have produced a number of supporting documents.

1. Summary

We have prepared a summary< of the consultation paper, which is available in Welsh<, easy read [shortly to be available], large print [shortly to be available] and audio format [shortly to be available].

2. Outline of our proposed statute

We have also prepared an outline of our proposed adult social care statute<, which provides an overview of how our proposed statute would operate as a whole.  This document is also available in Welsh<, easy read [shortly to be available], large print [shortly to be available] and audio format [shortly to be available].

3. Leaflets

We have prepared four leaflets, which are targeted at service users and carers, local authority and social care staff, voluntary organisations, and service providers.  These leaflets provide an overview of some of the main provisional proposals and questions which may be of interest to these groups.  Please contact the team< if you would like us to provide you with hard copies of any of these leaflets.

• Leaflet for service users and carers<
This leaflet is also available in Welsh<, easy read [shortly to be available], large print [shortly to be available] and audio format [shortly to be available].

• Leaflet for voluntary organisations<
This leaflet is also available in Welsh<, easy read [shortly to be available], large print [shortly to be available] and audio format [shortly to be available].

• Leaflet for local authority and social care staff<
This leaflet is also available in Welsh<, easy read [shortly to be available], large print [shortly to be available] and audio format [shortly to be available].

• Leaflet for service providers<
This leaflet is also available in Welsh<, easy read [shortly to be available], large print [shortly to be available] and audio format [shortly to be available].

4. Impact assessment

Our core impact assessment analysis is set out in Appendix A of the consultation paper.  The draft full impact assessment< is available.  We welcome views on the impact assessment.

5. Carers research

We have also prepared a table recording our initial findings from website-based research< into how local authorities determine carers’ eligibility for services.  We welcome further information and evidence on these findings.

Responding to the consultation paper

The consultation period will run until 1 July 2010.  You can send your response in hard copy to the Law Commission, or electronically to the team<.

We emphasise that the provisional proposals put forward in the consultation paper represent our initial view about how the law should be reformed and we will be reviewing these proposals on the basis of the responses to the consultation paper.  We welcome responses from all interested parties.

NOTE - We are happy to provide information about our projects.  However, we cannot give legal advice or deal with individual cases.  Nor do we provide legal research to assist with student assignments.  This does not affect your rights under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request information.

http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/1331.htm<

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kevin
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NAT response to NHS Constitution consultation<

(this comment has been noted that it is under the wrong heading though has been left for cross referencing purposes).

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The JRF's response to the Law Commission's consultation on creating a simple, consistent, transparent and modern framework for adult social care law.

http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/law-commission-adult-social-care<

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SCIE response to Law Commission Consultation on new Adult Social Care

SCIE welcomes the Law Commission’s review of current adult social care legislation. A single law on adult social care would resolve uncertainties and inconsistencies in the current legal framework, and offer clarity for the future.

SCIE’s Chair, Allan Bowman, says:

“If the new law is to be relevant and workable, it will have to reflect the emerging policy framework, with its emphasis on personalisation, choice and control. It will also need to be linked to planned reform of long-term care funding. The way adult social care is being delivered is changing, with individuals achieving choice and control; a radical new funding system could make the proposed new legislation obsolete.

“Any new adult social care law should help people who use services to understand what they’re entitled to, what their responsibilities are and how they can be protected if they are vulnerable. Adult social care should contribute to the wellbeing of people as individuals and promote dignity, social inclusion and personal identity. SCIE has an important role to play in these developments, including using the sort of support and resources we offer professionals on the implications of the Mental Capacity Act (2005), which has played a vital role in bringing staff up-to-speed with this crucial development in the law.”

Media contact

Steve Palmer | Press and Public Affairs Manager | T: 020 7089 7007 | Email: media@scie.org.uk<

http://www.scie.org.uk/news/mediareleases/2010/010710.asp<

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The Government response to Law Commission consultation paper 192. Review of the law on adult social care

The Government has responded to the provisional proposals and questions in the Law Commission's consultation document to update the legislative framework for social care - Paper No. 192 - Adult Social Care

 

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/Publicati...<

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Stage one: scoping report

The first phase of this project was completed with the publication of the scoping report< on 26 November 2008, which set out the agenda for the review.  A short summary paper< is available that can be used as a guide to the report.  A press release< is also available.  Read the Welsh version of the scoping report<.

For more information, contact the public law team< or go to the team page<.

http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/docs/adult_social_care_scoping_report_2008.pdf<

http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/adult_social_care.htm<

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Please Note - These consultation documents are available in Welsh language, EasyRead, Large Print and Audio versions. For further details visit www.lawcom.gov.uk/adult_social_care_consultation.htm<.

Closing date for responses: 01/07/10

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The final report will be published here in May 2011.

Consultation Analysis

On 31 March 2011, we published the Consultation Analysis, which is an analysis of the responses received to our consultation paper.  It summarises the views of consultees in relation to the 57 provisional proposals and 25 consultation questions put forward.  The Consultation Analysis is available either in full or by part.  Please use the links below:

Full consultation analysis<
Part 1 (Summary)<

Part 2 (Our approach to law reform)<

Part 3 (Statutory principles)<

Part 4 (Community care assessments)<

Part 5 (Carers assessments)<

Part 6 (Eligibility for services)<

Part 7 (Section 21 National Assistance Act and section 2(1) Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act)<

Part 8 (Ordinary Residence)<

Part 9 (Scope of adults social care)<

Part 10 (Delivery of services)<

Part 11 (Joint working)<

Part 12 (Safeguarding adults at risk)<

Part 13 (Strategic planning)<

Part 14 (Other issues)<

Appendix A - Index of responses<

Appendix B - Consultation events attended<

The public consultation process ran from publication on 24 February 2010 until 1 July 2010.  During this period, the Law Commission received 231 written responses.  In addition, the Law Commission attended 72 events across England and Wales.  We are very grateful for all those who took part in consultation events and submitted formal responses.

http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/1554.htm<

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kevin
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Adults' entitlements to social care have been thrown a lifeline following communities secretary Eric Pickles' controversial decision to put all council care duties under review, Community Care has learned.

Respondents to the Law Commission's consultation on reforming adult social care law overwhelmingly backed retaining current entitlements to care, most of which will be incorporated into the commission's final report in early May. The report is expected to inform government legislation next year.

<

Fears that councils' duties to provide social care may be reduced were raised earlier this month after the Department for Communities and Local Government launched a review of all statutory obligations on local authorities, with a view to slashing their number<.

However, in its analysis of consultations on proposals for reform, published on 31 March, the Law Commission said there was strong support for retaining councils' current responsibilities.

<

"Consultees were clear that any reform of the law must not dilute the strength of the duties owed by councils to disabled and ill people," said lead law commissioner, Frances Patterson.

Respondents to the consultation supported the retention of rights to assessment for those with care needs and to have eligible needs met, among others.

"Support for the abolition of existing legal duties was in almost every case conditional on their replacement by something similar," said Patterson.

Patterson confirmed that the commission's recommendations had been heavily influenced by the results of the consultation, saying almost every one had been altered as a result of responses.

"The problem with Pickles' consultation is that it sees social care duties in terms of a relationship of central and local government when in reality it's about the rights of citizens," said Stephen Lowe, social care policy adviser at Age UK.

He commended the Law Commission for upholding people's rights.

Social worker and blogger Fighting Monsters said: "I am reassured that duties in relation to the provision of adult social care are being retained but that doesn't mean I'm not confused as to why they were a part of the [DCLG] consultation process in the first place."

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2011/03/31/116553/law-commission...<

Law Commission to draft new adult social care law<

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The government has signalled the biggest reform of adult care law in 60 years after a three-year review proposed sweeping changes to adult safeguarding and carers' rights, and the extension of direct payments to residential care.

The Law Commission's proposals to simplify and modernise the law on adult care<,< published today, will inform government legislation next year. Although ministers have yet to say which recommendations they will accept, care services minister Paul Burstow said: "This report provides foundation for the most significant single reform of social care law in 60 years."

<

Among the commission's recommendations are:

• A set of statutory principles setting out the purpose of adult social care.

• The introduction of direct payments for residential care.

• A statutory basis for adult safeguarding boards.

• A duty on councils to investigate adult safeguarding cases.

• A duty on councils to assess carers without them having to request an assessment.

• A duty on councils to produce a care and support plan for all eligible users and carers, including self-funders.

• Separate care laws for England and Wales.

"Today signals a significant step in moving us closer to a clearer and more coherent framework for adult social care," said law commissioner Frances Patterson. "Our recommendations will bring much-needed clarity and accessibility to this important area of the law, and have a major, beneficial impact on the lives of many of our most vulnerable citizens."

The government is set to consider the commission's recommendations alongside those of the Dilnot Commission on long-term care funding<, which will report in July.

Detailed analysis on what the Law Commission's proposals mean for social care professionals will be on communitycare.co.uk< from 11.30am

Related articles

Law Commission reassures over future of adult care duties<

Social workers may gain power of entry in adult abuse cases<

Law Commission to draft new adult social care law<

The government has signalled the biggest reform of adult care law in 60 years after a three-year review proposed sweeping changes to adult safeguarding and carers' rights, and the extension of direct payments to residential care.

The Law Commission's proposals to simplify and modernise the law on adult care<,< published today, will inform government legislation next year. Although ministers have yet to say which recommendations they will accept, care services minister Paul Burstow said: "This report provides foundation for the most significant single reform of social care law in 60 years."

<

Among the commission's recommendations are:

• A set of statutory principles setting out the purpose of adult social care.

• The introduction of direct payments for residential care.

• A statutory basis for adult safeguarding boards.

• A duty on councils to investigate adult safeguarding cases.

• A duty on councils to assess carers without them having to request an assessment.

• A duty on councils to produce a care and support plan for all eligible users and carers, including self-funders.

• Separate care laws for England and Wales.

"Today signals a significant step in moving us closer to a clearer and more coherent framework for adult social care," said law commissioner Frances Patterson. "Our recommendations will bring much-needed clarity and accessibility to this important area of the law, and have a major, beneficial impact on the lives of many of our most vulnerable citizens."

The government is set to consider the commission's recommendations alongside those of the Dilnot Commission on long-term care funding<, which will report in July.

Detailed analysis on what the Law Commission's proposals mean for social care professionals will be on communitycare.co.uk< from 11.30am

Related articles

Law Commission reassures over future of adult care duties<

Social workers may gain power of entry in adult abuse cases<

Law Commission to draft new adult social care law<

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2011/05/11/116777/biggest-shake-...<

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kevin
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The current legal framework covering adult social care in England and Wales is out of date and the existing 40 laws need to be replaced by a single piece of legislation, the Law Commission has said.

At the same time adult social care eligibility and assessments must change radically to create a more coherent system, the Commission on the Funding of Care and Support has said. At the moment the care is means tested and the commission will report on its findings later this year with the aim that new legislation will be introduced in 2012.

Local authorities are struggling to cope with the increasing number of elderly people needing care while being asked to make cuts to budgets and there are fears that services could suffer. Councils have already raised the bar for eligibility to free care and many are thought to be looking to raise it higher still.

To this end, the Law Commission wanted a new code of practice that councils would have to follow and if the care they provided was insufficient they could be taken to court.

"It is not up to us to say what eligibility framework should be prescribed," the commission said. "But in our view it is essential that the law is clear about basic minimum entitlements to services.

"The statute should place a duty on the Secretary of State and Welsh Ministers to make regulations prescribing the eligibility framework for the provision of community care services. The code of practice should specify clearly how local authorities should set their eligibility criteria, including the needs that a local authority must, as a minimum, provide services to meet."

Care services minister Paul Burstow said: "The current law on adult social care lacks coherence, is hard to understand, and looks back to the Poor Law for its principles. We now have the opportunity to update the law for the 21st century placing principles of personal control and independence at the heart of social care law. The Law Commission's work provides us with a strong foundation upon which to build, as we develop legislative reforms. We will take this work together with the recommendations of the independent Commission on the Funding of Care and Support in the summer to set out a comprehensive reform in our Care and Support White Paper."

http://www.publicservice.co.uk/news_story.asp?id=16259<

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kevin
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Status: This project has been completed. The Government has stated that it will consider our conclusions, with a view to introducing legislation in the second session of this Parliament

The adult social care project was concerned with reviewing the law relating to the provision of adult social care in England and Wales.

The legislative framework for adult residential care, community care, adult protection and support for carers is inadequate, often incomprehensible and outdated. To this day, it remains a confusing patchwork of conflicting statutes enacted over a period of 60 years. There is no single, modern statute to which service providers and service users can look to understand whether (and, if so, what kind of) services can or must be provided.

The overall aim of the project was to provide a clearer, modern and more cohesive framework for adult social care. 

The project

We published a scoping report on 26 November 2008, which delineated the scope of the project and provided a detailed agenda for reform. The scoping report is available below.

On 24 February 2010, we published a consultation paper setting out a number of provisional proposals to reform the law governing adult social care in England and Wales. We then undertook a broad public consultation on these provisional proposals, which closed on 1 July 2010. The consultation paper and analysis of responses are both available below.

Following consultation, we formulated our final recommendations for reform set out in the final report.

Our recommendations

Our final recommendations are set out in the report, Adult Social Care, which we published on 11 May 2011 (available below). We believe the recommendations will bring much needed clarity and accessibility to this key area of the law, which touches the lives of so many citizens.

The publication of the final report marks the completion of the Law Commission’s project on adult social care. We are very pleased by the Government’s commitment to consider our conclusions, along with the Commission on funding of long-term care, with a view to introducing legislation in the second session of this Parliament.
 

<

http://www.justice.gov.uk/lawcommission/adult-social-care.htm<

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kevin
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Adult Social Care: A big step closer to a better legal framework

The Law Commission has just published the conclusions from its review of law on adult social care in England and Wales. This is a good news story. It represents a significant step towards achieving a single, modern and progressive statute on adult social care for each of England and Wales.

So what's this about? The Law Commission has been looking at the current and confusing laws on adult residential care, community care, adult protection and support for carers. In England, the Government will consider the Law Commission’s recommendations with a view to introducing legislation in the second session of this Parliament. In Wales – now that the National Assembly of Wales has fuller legislative powers, it would be excellent to see those powers being used to legislate for a new Welsh statute for adult social care.

From a JRF perspective, our response to the Law Commission's consultation focused on three areas, based on our evidence. We suggested their plan lacked sufficient emphasis on: user voice; human rights; and advocacy. We also suggested that they occasionally strayed into a focus on services when their own narrative was about outcomes and needs.

So how does the report stack up?

There really is much to be welcomed – beginning with establishing the overarching purpose of adult social care (to promote or contribute to the well-being of the individual) and a list of outcomes to which the well-being principle must then be directed (including contribution to society and securing rights and entitlements). It proposes a checklist to guide decisions around adult social care provision, including the need to follow the individual's preference and wishes, and confirmation that even those who do not have the mental capacity for choice and control can still have their wishes and needs taken into account. The recommendations are now much stronger on information, advice and assistance. On advocacy, the Law Commission notes that the right to advocacy can be resurrected and brought into modern understanding if the Secretary of State wishes.

A distinction is made between universal and targeted services – including a recommended duty on local authorities to provide universal services in their area to help prevent or delay the need for more targeted social care interventions. This would include a role in ensuring all people (including self-funders) get the information, advice and assistance they need and ensuring that local authorities take an active role in stimulating and shaping markets to provide the assistance and services that people want and need. This reflects the strong evidence we have about the high value to older people and others of low-level support and assistance. There will be, however, legitimate and important concerns about what this might mean for people who need low-level targeted personal and social care services, as many local authorities continue to raise or maintain high eligibility criteria for targeted services in a context of restricted public finances and growing demands. On this issue, the proposal is the eligibility for social care remains variable by local authorities, but that the framework will be national and the minimum entitlement will be set nationally. This is good news, including for clarity and consistency. Carers will also be subject to entitlement criteria, so they too should have a better sense of the support they are entitled to.

Whilst disappointing that the Law Commission's trigger for an assessment is against a proscribed list of community care services, it does at least recognise the risks inherent in this and attempts to find a way of preventing narrow service-led assessments by specifying that assessments must focus on the individual’s needs and outcomes they wish to achieve.

Amongst the hundreds of proposals in the full report – there are some that are less positive, falling short of what we’d have hoped (e.g. on advocacy and on restating human rights). But nonetheless, this is time for hearty congrats to the Law Commission for delivering on its commitment to genuine consultation and undertaking a thorough review. Dare I say, it is a legislative framework that has the potential to be a sound backdrop for a more transparent, fairer and outcomes-oriented system for funding care? Next step: Dilnot Commission.

http://www.jrf.org.uk/blog/2011/05/adult-social-care-big-step-closer?utm...

Also refer http://benefits.tcell.org.uk/forums/new-commission-funding-care-and-supp...

and http://www.disabilityalliance.org/lawscope.htm

<
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kevin
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The Dilnot commission on care funding will recommend an overhaul of the main eligibility frameworks for adult social care in order to end the postcode lottery for services, it has signalled.

It also looks set to propose the retention of attendance allowance, a move that will prove popular with older people's charities who vigorously opposed the previous Labour government's plans to scrap the benefit and roll it into the social care system<.<

The news was revealed exclusively to Community Care by former Labour health minister Lord Norman Warner, one of three members of the commission appointed by the coalition to consider the long-term reform of adult care funding.

Ahead of the commission's report in early July, Warner said its ambition of setting a national eligibility threshold for adult social care – revealed last month by commission chair Andrew Dilnot< – required an overhaul of the fair access to care services (FACS) and continuing care frameworks.

"My judgement is that the way FACS is structured and continuing care is structured do not guarantee national eligibility, said Warner, who was speaking to Community Care at a conference on social care reform organised by the healthcare consultancy LCS International Consulting. "Unless we are going to ignore all the evidence that's come before us someone has to deal with [this],"

FACS governs eligibility for council-funded social care and enables councils to restrict care at one of four thresholds of need:  critical, substantial, moderate or low. Warner's comments suggest that a national eligibility threshold could not be delivered simply by reducing FACS's four bands down to one.

His remarks also complement the conclusions of the Law Commission's review of adult social care law<, which this week called for existing assessment and eligibility systems for social care to be streamlined and a clearer national definition of continuing care – the system of NHS-funded social care for people with serious health conditions.

"The continuing care part of the system is impenetrable," said Warner.

He also gave backing to attendance allowance, saying it was the "only one of the three assessment systems [that] is easy to understand". Dilnot had earlier told the LCS conference that, despite the case for redistributing money from benefits into social care, there were arguments in favour of retaining attendance allowance.

"We actually might want, as a community, for the state to intervene at the very beginning of somebody's care journey to give them some support with the extra costs but also to help encourage them to make some of the adaptations in their lifestyle or living accommodation that might help," he said.

The commission has already ruled out backing free personal care funded out of general taxation< in favour of a partnership approach in which individuals pay for a proportion of their care costs. Warner has also signalled that it will not call for a compulsory system of payments to govern individual contributions to the care system, such as social insurance or an estates tax, and back a voluntary approach instead.

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2011/05/12/116795/dilnot-to-urge...<

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