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|01 Jul 2016|
Forth Valley Stronger Together
The Carer's Act was passed earlier this year but is not currently being implemented. Currently Scottish Ministers are considering what is called the Commencement Date. This is the date when the everybody must start doing what the Act says. This will definitely be by the end of 2017 but not all parts might be done at once.
Over the summer of 2016, we can expect to see the first draft regulations being published and people will be able to comment on these. The Carers Act contain significant improvements to carer's rights and support and will be expected to cost quite a bit more. Some budgets have been set. About £16 million for Year One rising to about £74 million in Year Four. And there are promises that if more funds are needed to deliver this then they will be made available.
Important features of the Carers Act include:
- Carers Assessments will be replaced by new assessments called Adult Carer Support Plans and Young Carers Statements.
- Carers whose identified needs meet local eligibility criteria will have a right to support
- Carers whose identified needs do not meet local eligibility criteria should still have access to other forms of support and information and advice and local authorities will still have a power to provide support.
- The development of local eligibility criteria must involve consultation and involvement of carers and carer organisations.
- Carers cannot be charged for any support they receive
All areas in Scotland voted to Remain
Most areas in England voted to Leave
Most areas in Northern Ireland voted to Remain
Most areas in Wales voted to Leave
A care provider has been fined £190,000 following the death of a disabled resident who broke his neck at a nursing home in West Yorkshire.
Watchdog the Care Quality Commission prosecuted Leeds-based St Anne's Community Services after 62-year-old Kevin McNally died at the home in Smithies Moor Lane, Birstall, in April last year.
Bradford Magistrates' Court was told that Mr McNally, who had Down’s syndrome, epilepsy, dementia and a severe learning disability, had lived in the nursing home since 2012.
In April 2015 two care workers had gone to Mr McNally's bedroom to help him take a shower using a shower commode chair. The shower chair fell forwards while he was loosely strapped in. Staff attempted to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead in hospital.
Jenny Ashworth, prosecuting, told the court that the provider had failed to adequately control the risk of serious injury and the accident was avoidable.
This accident was entirely avoidable. The risk of people sustaining serious injuries because safety or posture belts are not used properly has been well known for some time. Yet St Anne’s Community Services failed in its duty to ensure that care and treatment was provided in a safe way, and as a result Kevin McNally died. It is a tragedy which need not have happened.
Interesting Case in England where a disabled person is given green light to challenge cuts to care package
A High Court judge has given a disabled man permission to bring a legal challenge against a county council after it decided to reduce his care package. The case is thought to be the first of its kind since the Care Act 2014 came into force.
The claimant, Luke Davey, 39, is quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy. His disabilities were caused due to a virus he contracted as a child. Oxfordshire County Council is responsible for providing him with care and support to Mr Davey, who lives in his own adapted home and is supported by a team of carers to live independently.
According to his lawyers, Irwin Mitchell, “despite an assessment in April 2015 stating he needs 24-hours care a day and a stable care package for over 20 years the council took steps to reduce Luke’s funding over the past 12 months down to 17.5 hours which his family, and an independent report said would have a negative effect on his wellbeing”.
The law firm launched legal proceedings in the High Court on his behalf, arguing that Oxfordshire was in breach of the Care Act in not making sufficient payments to meet his care needs. An interim court order was made at the recent permission hearing, requiring the council to continue paying for the full cost of Mr Davey’s current care package until the final hearing (expected to take place later this year).
Rebecca Chapman, the claimant’s solicitor, said: “Luke is an intelligent but vulnerable man who is dependent on a wheelchair, registered blind and relies on support from the council to fund carers so that he can live his life to his full potential. Luke can make his own decisions but requires assistance with all of his personal care needs and activities of daily living and in April 2015 the council assessed him as needing 24 hours care a day. Luke has decided he does not want to be forced to spend time alone.
“An Independent report has stated that the reduced care plan will have a detrimental impact on his wellbeing and independence and Luke, through the support of his family has asked us to challenge the decision to reduce his care.”
Chapman added: “We will argue that the council has duties under the Care Act 2014 and has not taken into account the reasons why the reduced payments will have such a significant detrimental impact on Luke’s health and wellbeing.” Irwin Mitchell will also seek to argue in the case that a reduction in the rates of pay for skilled carers and assistants would be unreasonable and unlawful.
A spokesman for Oxfordshire said: “It would be inappropriate to comment at this stage pending consideration of this case by the Court. In the meantime we continue to work with Mr Davey and his family.”
Our first article draws on a report published about the progress of Health and Social Care Integration in England that can help us understand the challenges for Scotland. You can read the full article here and download a copy of the main report here.
Our second article looks at he ongoing war against disabled people as despite the efforts of the Scottish Government the amounts disabled people are being asked to pay continues to rise. Faced with benefit cuts, rising prices and cuts in support, asking people to pay more for less would not be acceptable anywhere else. Yet for disabled people who are coming to ask for help at really difficult times in their lives it seems okay to shrug shoulders and say there is a means test so it must be fair! Even Rafael Nadal thinks its wrong! Read the article here
Our third article looks at a few other things that the new Scottish Government might do to improve things. Read it here.
All our online articles can be read aloud simply by highlighting the text and then clicking it.
You can also see our map of Welfare Rights Offices in Scotland on our website where you can more advice and help on how to sort out welfare benefit problems