Council duties to support disabled people and carers could be scrapped on the back of the government’s review of all social care duties launched last week.
Of the 37 adult social care duties under review by the Department for Communities and Local Government, legal experts have identified some that may be at particular risk.
These include the duty under section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 to provide services to disabled people in order to meet their needs.
“The courts have made it very difficult for anyone to create for themselves a right to receive services,” said Ed Mitchell, editor of Social Care Law Today and Community Care legal columnist. Specifically, the courts have interpreted this duty as meaning that councils can define what is necessary to meet someone’s needs according to local resources. Mitchell said this made it easier to wipe the duty off the statute book, adding: “They would be finishing the job the courts have started.”
Also at risk could be carers’ rights to assessment and to be considered when the local authority is providing care, under the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 and Carers (recognition and services) Act 1995.
Luke Clements, professor of law at Cardiff University and social care law expert, said there were indications of a shifting of responsibility for caring to families.
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