Coronavirus Act 2020 and social care

The Coronavirus Act 2020 means that disabled and vulnerable adults may be left with no entitlement or access to care, writes Jonathan Auburn. Read more
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  NEWS

Mar 26, 2020

Coronavirus Act 2020 receives Royal Assent

The Coronavirus Act 2020, which contains a wide range of emergency measures as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, has been given Royal Assent.
Mar 26, 2020

Ombudsman suspends complaints enquiries of councils and care providers

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has suspended all casework activity that demands information from, or action by, local authorities and care providers, in light of the current coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 23, 2020

LGA issues briefing on Coronavirus Bill, calls for temporary relaxation of FOI and GDPR requirements

The Local Government Association has called for additional powers to be given to local government as it published a briefing on the measures contained in the Coronavirus Bill.
Mar 20, 2020

Barristers call for changes to Coronavirus Bill to avoid wholesale removal of duties to provide adult social care

Barristers from 39 Essex Chambers, 11KBW and Monckton Chambers have set out proposed amendments to the Coronavirus Bill, warning that, as it is currently drafted, the legislation is likely to have a serious negative impact on adults with care and support needs and their carers.
Mar 18, 2020

Mother sends letter before action to government over coronavirus and strategy for needs of younger disabled people, lack of testing of health and social care workers

Claimant law firm Simpson Millar has sent a letter before action on behalf of the mother of a child with a number of complex health and learning disabilities calling on the UK government to confirm its strategy for “meeting the needs of younger disabled people (children and working age adults) in the context of the current pandemic”.
Mar 17, 2020

Care watchdog in immediate cessation of routine inspections in response to coronavirus

The Care Quality Commission has stopped routine inspections as it adapts its regulatory approach in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 06, 2020

Social worker suspended for 12 months for copying and pasting Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards forms

An experienced social worker has been suspended for 12 months for copying eight DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) assessments from forms completed for other service users.
Mar 05, 2020

Council rapped over failure to properly carry out financial assessment following Ombudsman investigation

North Yorkshire County Council has been criticised in a report by the Local Government and Social Ombudsman which found that the local authority had failed to carry out a financial assessment it had agreed to undertake following an earlier upheld complaint to the Ombudsman.
Feb 28, 2020

Ombudsman raps council for leaving vulnerable man without enough care before he died

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has criticised Norfolk County Council after a woman was left to care for an elderly vulnerable friend for months before he died while the local authority delayed meeting his care.
Feb 17, 2020

Chartered Trading Standards Institute publishes guidebook for UK care homes industry

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has launched a new complaints guidebook for the UK care homes industry designed to help operators understand consumer law and implement a complaints process.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

March 27, 2020

Coronavirus emergency: local authority charges for care and support

Christine Cooper looks at the issues for local authorities around charging for care during the coronavirus outbreak.
March 27, 2020

Skype in the Court of Protection: The courts in the time of coronavirus

Nageena Khalique QC and Sophia Roper explain what it was like to take part in a trial concerning withdrawal of life sustaining treatment that was heard by Mr Justice Mostyn with five parties and at least 20 participants over Skype for Business.
March 19, 2020

COVID-19: suspension of Care Act obligations

The new Coronavirus Bill 2020 effectively suspends most local authority social care obligations. Jonathan Auburn reports.
March 19, 2020

Covid-19: Court of Protection guidance on visiting P and hearings

The Court of Protection has issued two important pieces of guidance in the last two days, writes Jonathan Auburn.
March 06, 2020

Property and Affairs Deputies: limits on authority, and managing conflicts of interest

The Court of Protection has handed down an important judgment, which every property and affairs deputy - including public authority deputies - should consider, writes Lee Parkhill.
February 28, 2020

Refusing food, (in)capacity and coming to court

A Court of Protection judge has made important observations about the need to distinguish between a reluctance to answer questions and an inability to do so, writes the CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers.
February 26, 2020

Home is where the hoard is

Chris Grose and Sharon McLoughlin provide some top tips for housing providers dealing with hoarding issues.
February 21, 2020

Finding the right balance with constrained resources

A recent decision is a useful reminder of the distinction between public law decisions and best interests decisions (the Court of Protection having jurisdiction over the former but not the latter) and the way in which, in practice, public law decisions may limit significantly the best interests decisions that can sensibly be made, writes the CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers.

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  MORE NEWS

Mar 26, 2020

Coronavirus Act 2020 receives Royal Assent

The Coronavirus Act 2020, which contains a wide range of emergency measures as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, has been given Royal Assent.
Mar 26, 2020

Ombudsman suspends complaints enquiries of councils and care providers

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has suspended all casework activity that demands information from, or action by, local authorities and care providers, in light of the current coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 23, 2020

LGA issues briefing on Coronavirus Bill, calls for temporary relaxation of FOI and GDPR requirements

The Local Government Association has called for additional powers to be given to local government as it published a briefing on the measures contained in the Coronavirus Bill.
Mar 20, 2020

Barristers call for changes to Coronavirus Bill to avoid wholesale removal of duties to provide adult social care

Barristers from 39 Essex Chambers, 11KBW and Monckton Chambers have set out proposed amendments to the Coronavirus Bill, warning that, as it is currently drafted, the legislation is likely to have a serious negative impact on adults with care and support needs and their carers.
Mar 18, 2020

Mother sends letter before action to government over coronavirus and strategy for needs of younger disabled people, lack of testing of health and social care workers

Claimant law firm Simpson Millar has sent a letter before action on behalf of the mother of a child with a number of complex health and learning disabilities calling on the UK government to confirm its strategy for “meeting the needs of younger disabled people (children and working age adults) in the context of the current pandemic”.
Mar 17, 2020

Care watchdog in immediate cessation of routine inspections in response to coronavirus

The Care Quality Commission has stopped routine inspections as it adapts its regulatory approach in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 06, 2020

Social worker suspended for 12 months for copying and pasting Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards forms

An experienced social worker has been suspended for 12 months for copying eight DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) assessments from forms completed for other service users.
Mar 05, 2020

Council rapped over failure to properly carry out financial assessment following Ombudsman investigation

North Yorkshire County Council has been criticised in a report by the Local Government and Social Ombudsman which found that the local authority had failed to carry out a financial assessment it had agreed to undertake following an earlier upheld complaint to the Ombudsman.
Feb 28, 2020

Ombudsman raps council for leaving vulnerable man without enough care before he died

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has criticised Norfolk County Council after a woman was left to care for an elderly vulnerable friend for months before he died while the local authority delayed meeting his care.
Feb 17, 2020

Chartered Trading Standards Institute publishes guidebook for UK care homes industry

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has launched a new complaints guidebook for the UK care homes industry designed to help operators understand consumer law and implement a complaints process.
Feb 13, 2020

Ombudsman warns councils over care home top-up fees

Councils have been warned by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman over the administration of ‘top-up fees’ under the Care Act for people contributing towards relatives’ care.
Feb 12, 2020

Equalities watchdog in legal action against Health Secretary over accommodation for people with learning disabilities and autism

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a legal challenge against the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care over what it claims is a repeated failure to move people with learning disabilities and autism into appropriate accommodation.
Jan 23, 2020

Senior judge issues guidance on applications to Court of Protection concerning medical treatment

The Vice-President of the Court of Protection, Mr Justice Hayden, has issued guidance on applications to the court relating to medical treatment.
Jan 22, 2020

Ombudsman criticises council for reducing care package of autistic man because of financial pressures

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has criticised a county council after a man with autism was left relying on his parents to part-fund his care when the local authority cut his package without identifying a suitable alternative.
Jan 22, 2020

Law Society warns of “catastrophic legal aid deserts” for community care work

Some 79% of local authority areas have no publicly funded legal advice for vulnerable people to challenge community care arrangements, the Law Society has claimed.
Jan 16, 2020

Judge criticises children's trust and clinical commissioning group over "wholesale failure of best interest decisions" for man with epilepsy

A judge has awarded costs against Birmingham Children’s Trust (BCT) and NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) after what he called their “wholesale failure” in a case of a young man with severe epilepsy.
Jan 16, 2020

Ombudsman criticises council for failing to properly involve complainant in assessment and support planning process

A council significantly delayed completing an assessment of a complainant's social care needs, failed to complete a support plan before reducing his personal budget and failed to properly involve him in the assessment and support planning process, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
Dec 31, 2019

Judge rules against council on meaning of 'needs' for Care Act assessment

An assessment carried out by a London borough did not constitute a discharge of its duties under the Care Act because it failed to include all the individual's needs, whether currently being met or not, a judge has ruled.
Dec 27, 2019

Council defeats High Court challenge over closure of day centre

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has successfully defended a High Court challenge over its decision to close a day centre for adults with learning difficulties.
Dec 20, 2019

Queen's Speech lays out proposals for “long term reform of social care”, further devolution

Government plans to seek cross-party consensus “urgently” in order to bring forward the necessary proposals and legislation for long-term social care reform in England were among proposals unveiled in the Queen’s Speech yesterday, but concerns have been expressed that "we've heard it all before".
Dec 10, 2019

Council fined £500k after first prosecution by CQC over failure to provide safe care

Derbyshire County Council has been fined £500,000 following the first prosecution that the Care Quality Commission has brought against a local authority since the watchdog was given powers to prosecute health and social care providers for failing to provide safe care and treatment in 2015.
Dec 09, 2019

Former council worker sentenced for unlawfully obtaining personal data

A former social services support officer at Dorset County Council has been prosecuted for accessing social care records without authorisation.
Nov 22, 2019

Home Office reconsideration policy for victims of traffickiing unlawful, High Court judge rules

The High Court has ruled as unlawful a Home Office policy of allowing victims of trafficking seeking a reconsideration of a negative decision to approach it only through specified organisations.
Nov 21, 2019

Applications for DoLS by care homes and hospitals up 15% each year since 2014-15: report

The number of applications made by care homes and hospitals to local authorities under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) has increased by an average of 15.0% each year since 2014-15, official statistics from NHS Digital have revealed.
Oct 31, 2019

Ombudsman raps council for taking 21 months to reassess care needs of vulnerable woman

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) has criticised a council for taking 21 months to carry out a reassessment of a vulnerable woman’s care needs.

  MORE FEATURES

February 14, 2020

Fluctuating capacity – another judicial take

A judge has set out a way forward for the Court of Protection to grapple with the difficult issue of fluctuating capacity, writes Alex Ruck Keene.
February 07, 2020

Cross-border cases and the inherent jurisdiction

A Court of Protection judge recently considered applications for welfare orders for a man in his sixties made by his children who had brought him back from Spain, against the wishes of his second wife. Sophy Miles analyses the outcome.
February 06, 2020

Local authority social care duties

The following Local Government guidance note, produced in partnership with Ros Ashcroft of DAC Beachcroft and Stephanie Townley of Addleshaw Goddard LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering local authority duties towards social care.
January 31, 2020

RPRs, attorneys, BIAs and legal aid

A Court of Protection judge recently considered the question of the appointment of a relevant person's representative (RPR) in the context of attorneyship. Alex Ruck Keene examines the outcome.
January 24, 2020

Complying with the MCA

A Court of Protection judge recently criticised a council for "chilling" failures to comply with the Mental Capacity Act. Sophy Miles explains why.
January 17, 2020

Adult safeguarding and the Anti-social behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Kevin Chan explains how his local authority recently used the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to safeguard a vulnerable man from abuse using a civil injunction.
January 17, 2020

Prosecutions of local authorities by the Care Quality Commission

In December 2019, the Care Quality Commission brought its first prosecution against a local authority. Lorna Kenyon said the case demonstrates the importance of considering whether to admit or contest a prosecution at an early stage.
January 03, 2020

Case management and expert evidence

In a recent case the Vice-President of the Court of Protection made some important comments in relation to case management. The CoP team at 39 Essex Chambers reports.
December 13, 2019

Capacity, the inherent jurisdiction and self-neglect

A judge was recently asked to resolve a case where there was disagreement as to the jurisdictional basis upon which the Court of Protection was being invited to impose care on a man against his will as being in his best interests. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers analyse the ruling.
November 08, 2019

Deprivation of liberty in the community – how not to apply to court

A recent case reads as an object lesson in how not to make an application to the Court of Protection to authorise deprivation of liberty, writes Alex Ruck Keene.
November 01, 2019

Social care support and persons subject to immigration control

The Administrative Court has revisited the issue of the denial of social care support to persons subject to immigration control, and the line between local authority social care support under the Care Act 2014, and accommodation and support provided by the Home Office. Jonathan Auburn analyses the ruling.
October 25, 2019

Fluctuating capacity: decisions on the management of diabetes

Hope Davis-McCallion examines how the Court of Protection approached deciding whether a woman had capacity to make decisions about the management of her diabetes. In Royal Borough of Greenwich v CDM [2019] EWCOP32, the court had to decide whether the assessment of capacity to make decisions about diabetic management is one macro-decision which encompasses all of the many micro-decisions that CDM…
October 18, 2019

The limits of the inherent jurisdiction (2)

The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers analyse the second in two rulings by Mr Justice Cobb on the inherent jurisdiction.
October 11, 2019

The limits of the inherent jurisdiction (1)

Mr Justice Cobb recently handed down two important decisions on the scope of the inherent jurisdiction at the border of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. In the first of two articles on these rulings, the Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers examine a case concerning a young adult and the use of the inherent jurisdiction to authorise deprivations of liberty where there is no statutory…
September 26, 2019

Re D – the Supreme Court, 16/17 year olds and confinement

The Supreme Court has handed down a much-anticipated judgment on 16-17 year olds, deprivations of liberty and parental consent. Alex Ruck Keene explains the ruling and sets out some practical implications.
September 06, 2019

The extent of the inherent jurisdiction

Christine Cooper reports on an unusual inherent jurisdiction case that recently went before a High Court judge.
August 23, 2019

The MHA and the MCA in the community

The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers report on the outcome of a ruling dealing with streamlined Re X applications made by two local authorities.
August 16, 2019

Fluctuating capacity – micro vs macro decisions

Alex Ruck Keene looks at the lessons to be learned from the latest Court of Protection to address the issue of fluctuating capacity.
August 09, 2019

Costs and s21A applications

A judge recently rejected an application by the Official Solicitor for a London borough to pay its costs in proceedings under Section 21A of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The Court of Protection team at 39 Essex Chambers analyse the judgment.
August 09, 2019

Court of Protection cases review

Aaqib Javed rounds up the latest Court of Protection cases including a ruling on the appointment of personal welfare deputies.