The Statutory guidance to support local authorities implement the Care Act 2014 was updated on 24 March 2016. The guidance is now available online in a format that defies easy downloading, but a “hacked” composite version can be found here.
A helpful table identifying the amendments and additions can be found here, and Luke Clements has updated his invaluable briefing here. Many of the amendments are minor, but the chapters on safeguarding and ordinary residence have been more substantially revised and amended to reflect developments in caselaw and practical experience. The focus on safeguarding is perhaps unsurprising in light of the recent publication of figures from the Local Government Association showing that there has been a large increase in safeguarding referrals since the coming into force of s.42 of the Care Act (see also in this regard the recent and troubling Times investigation in conjunction with Action on Elder Abuse as regards the increase in financial abuse). We note with a degree of concern that “clarification” has been added to chapter 14 on safeguarding to “to reinforce that, ordinarily, an enquiry under Section 42 of the Act is not appropriate where people are failing to care for themselves. Section 42 is primarily aimed at those suffering abuse or neglect from a third party.” We cannot help but feel that self-neglect is likely to fall back into the “too difficult” category as a result of this step.