Latest Public Sector News

14.06.16

Councils take government to court over funding for DoLS assessments

A legal challenge has been launched by four councils to secure additional funding for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) assessments.

The judicial review challenge from Liverpool, Shropshire, Richmond upon Thames and Nottinghamshire councils relates to the spiralling costs of assessments since the 2014 Cheshire West ruling in the Supreme Court, which expanded the group of eligible adults.

A Law Commission review said that £400m is needed to meet the new costs of assessments, but the total funding is currently just £35m. The judicial review argues that the cost should be treated as ‘a new burden’ and fully funded by the government.

Cllr Paul Brant, cabinet member for adult social care and health at Liverpool City Council, said: “Ensuring that the care provided is safe, unrestrictive and provided with dignity is absolutely critical to the health and wellbeing of people with a complex range of needs, their families and carers.

“Councils need to have the capacity, time and money to ensure the rights and needs of people are protected and this additional financial burden has to be seen in the context of a 58% cut in Liverpool’s budget since 2010.

“This action is very much as last resort which we have been forced to take because government has failed to heed our pleas for additional resources.”

Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for adults, said the local authority had seen the number of DoLS applications increase from 160 to 4,000 a year since 2014 and councils now had “no alternative” but legal action.

Social care funding is currently under unprecedented financial pressure, with councils warning that they are ‘at breaking point’.

The claim for judicial review has been issued by the High Court and served on health secretary Jeremy Hunt and communities and local government secretary Greg Clark.

The safeguards apply to residents of hospitals and residential care homes who lack mental capacity, and are intended to ensure decisions about their care are made in their best interests and do not inappropriately restrict their freedom. They must be renewed every year.

Sam Cox, knowledge officer for legal and welfare rights at the Alzheimer’s Society, called for a replacement for DoLS in PSE last year.

PSE contacted the Department of Health and the DCLG for a statement but received no reply at the time of publication.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Parliament cannot solve homelessness through legislation alone

Cllr Michelle Lowe, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing and health at Sevenoaks District Council, argues that if the government is really serious about combating homelessness they will work more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Time to embrace change

01/03/2017Time to embrace change

The way we work is changing. As a profession, we must be ready to embrace i... more >
Digital Marketplace: reaching far and wide in the public sector

01/03/2017Digital Marketplace: reaching far and wide in the public sector

Over the next few months, the Government Digital Service (GDS) wants to get... more >

interviews

Leading transformational change through procurement

01/03/2017Leading transformational change through procurement

Liz Welton, chair of the Society of Procurement Officers in Local Governmen... more >

the raven's daily blog

Why opening up procurement matters to the UK public sector

22/03/2017Why opening up procurement matters to the UK public sector

Rob Levene, managing director of Bloom, explains why opening up procurement is important to the UK public sector.  Procuring products and services by the UK public s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

21/02/2017Untapped potential

As PSE went to press, the government had just released its Industrial Strategy green paper, which has an ambitious aim to “improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country”.  Overall, the strategy was welcomed across the public sector. However, as you’ll read throughout this edition of the magazine, in order to make the aspirations a reality, there needs to be a greater level of freedom for all... read more >