Health and Care Professions Council: Consultation on revised standards of proficiency for social workers in England: seeks views on proposed changes to the standards of proficiency for social workers in England. These describe what professionals must know, understand and be able to do at the time they apply to join the HCPC Register. The consultation closes on 24 June 2016. (4 April 2016)
R (Bhandari) v Croydon LBC (Unreported, Admin Ct): B & C applied for judicial review of the decision of the Council's independent appeal panel that C was liable to refund it the full cost of residential care that had been provided to her between 2014 and 2015. The Council had decided that C had assets in excess of the statutory minimum threshold of £23,250 so that she should meet the full accommodation costs. In particular, it relied on B's and C's interests in four properties. B and C appealed against that decision to the panel, and relied on a solicitor's letter which referred to each of the properties and calculated the claimants' interests in them. The panel rejected the representations, concluding simply that it had studied the information provided but that its decision remained the same. It provided no further reasons.
The court held, granting the application, that the relevant statutory guidance "Charging for Residential Accommodation Guide" provided that a local authority had to give a clear explanation of how it had assessed an individual's ability to pay accommodation costs. Sufficient explanation had to be given so that the person affected by the decision knew where they stood and whether they had any grounds to challenge the decision on the basis of legality, procedural unfairness or factual error. Here, the Council had been required to give some response explaining why it was dissatisfied with the information provided in the solicitor's letter. Accordingly, it was appropriate to make a declaration that there had been no lawful final decision on the claim because insufficient reasons had been given. (21 April 2016)
The judgment is available on Lawtel (subscription required).
Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/413 (W.131)): Parts 2 to 6 of the 2014 Act make provision about improving the well-being outcomes for people in Wales who need care and support and carers who need support. These regulations, which mainly come into force on 6 April 2016, amend primary legislation which relates to the provision of care and support for adults and carers in relation to Wales. The amendments made in these regulations will mean that the current community care legislation is repealed in relation to Wales. (19 March 2016)