Law Commission’s adult care law proposals welcomed

Senior professionals and policymakers have welcomed the Law Commission’s proposals to introduce a single adult social care law.

Here is a selection of their views.

Simon Lawton-Smith, head of policy, Mental Health Foundation.

“We would suggest that the Law Commission looks at the overlap of health and social care, which is often confusing for all concerned. Many people need help from both and too often are caught up in a bureaucratic tangle. Clearer legal guidance on how health and social care should work together would help to avoid this.”

Jenny Owen, president, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services

“Adass welcomes proposals to consolidate and streamline adult care legislation and will be keen to ensure that any new legislation supports the major changes being introduced through the transformation and personalisation agendas.

“The proposal to put adult safeguarding boards on a statutory footing is also to be welcomed but, without a duty to co-operate placed on other agencies, they are likely to lack real impact.

“The principle of a duty to co-operate however, if established, would place adult safeguarding on a similar playing field – with an appropriate status – that we give to children’s safety, and ensure that partners are fully committed and engaged with social services in protecting adults from harm.”

David Walden, director of adult services, Social Care Institute for Excellence

“In taking forward this reform, which seems very technical but is vital in framing the overall legal context for adult social care, it will be important to ensure that any new legislation is compatible with a world of more personalised care and support, with services purchased through personal budgets and direct payments.”

Ruth Scott, director of policy, Scope 
“While we agree that the current legal framework for ordinary residence is complex and inconsistent, we are disappointed that the Law Commission doesn’t go further and recommend abolishing ordinary residence rules. They are unfair and seriously hinder the portability of care support packages. They also restrict the choices disabled people have over where they live and frequently lead to costly legal disputes, diverting precious resources away from already underfunded social care.”

Imelda Redmond, chief executive, Carers UK

“We now have a once in a generation opportunity to modernise and bring the whole of our social care system up to date and meet the growing demand for the future.”

Martin Green, chief executive, English Community Care Association

“Our current legal framework has developed in a piecemeal and unco-ordinated way, and this often makes it difficult for care providers and indeed service users to understand and to navigate. We welcome the Law Commission’s plea for a more simplified and streamlined system which ultimately will be beneficial to all stakeholders.”

Stephen Burke, chief executive, Counsel and Care

“We are aware from calls to Counsel and Care’s Advice Service that the vast array of legislation and guidance is bewildering to older people and their carers. Pulling all the legislation together into one statute will bring much needed clarity about the rights of older people and their carers.

“The Law Commission’s consultation captures some of the reform agenda contained in last year’s green paper. We shall have to see how much further the forthcoming white paper will take forward care reform.”

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