What CASCAIDr’s been up to in its first three months

CASCAIDr has been open just over three months now. To celebrate, we’ve done a case list covering all the most important community care cases that were ever heard, pre and post the Care Act, establishing solid, enforceable legal rights to care and support for people with complex conditions and disabilities. Here it is: CASES Template

Aside from a load of admin, driving awareness and donations, and responding to well-wishers, we’ve fielded requests for advice and support from about 45 people, asking either on their own behalf, or for loved ones.

We can be found on www.CASCAIDr.org.uk – there’s a referral form under the Free Advice tab on the top bar menu, if you want to see if you could get free advice.

We’ve also been approached by parent carer forums, advocacy groups, providers and social care staff who are directly concerned about the legality of the decisions they’re involved in, and who are buying our packages combining advice and training webinars – or seeking short talks or half day sessions from us on issues that matter to parent/carer/user forums, for instance. We want professionals to go up the legal literacy learning curve too, so this is great news!

We have done two talks for GROUPS of parents of people with complex disabilities about their loved ones’ rights in the face of threatened cuts and closures – and the councils and CCGs concerned have gone strangely quiet as the rejections of their proposed cuts have started flowing in!

The charity is already building up a picture of behaviours which go against the spirit – and in some cases, the actual letter of the law – as set out in the Care Act.

We’re going to do a series of live facebook video posts about what to say in various standard situations, that we keep on seeing come up, all at the level of principle, of course, but hoping to bring the issues to life, and generate donations at the same time, to keep us going!

If anyone can offer us publicity on a national or regional scale, without insisting on photos of the people being assisted, please get in touch to belinda@cascaidr.org.uk or .com

The range of issues we have been asked to assist with includes:

  • A sizeable claim for retrospective payment to compensate for mis-assessed entitlement to CHC status
  • Dodgy supported living arrangements where the Care Provider makes the nominations of tenants to the landlord and the clients HAVE to have the care commissioned on a fully shared care basis, and are refused direct payments as a group…
  • Missing assessments and reviews dating back to before the Care Act, so still based on FACS, not the law, or the specially stretched definition of ‘unable to achieve’.
  • Ordinary residence issues in the context of a Shared Lives client.
  • Cost capping of the offer of home care if the person won’t accept a care home – when the care home isn’t even conceivably suited to the person, and the cost comparison is therefore arbitrary
  • Proposed cuts of over 40% on the current package, with no explanation or any justification other than austerity…
  • Shenanigans over fees being re-negotiated behind the scenes by a commissioner, without regard to the impact on a user’s care plan contents or quality of provision
  • Disputed liability (as between adults and children’s services) for helping a disabled parent care for her baby whilst under 2 yrs old. And 2 other mothers with disabilities, and children with their own disabilities, hopelessly lost in the gap between children’s and adults’ services – on the footing that the children weren’t at risk, so therefore the women weren’t unable to achieve parenting. Oh dear.
  • A claim for unlawful detention arising out of a council simply failing to process a hospital’s urgent DoLS authorisations into standard ones under the DoLS process (AND, please note, where the provider has conducted the so-called safeguarding enquiry).
  • Pressure on carers to keep on caring, no matter what the impact on them, through the council’s refusal to accept there’s been a change of circumstance affecting the care plan, such as the carer going back to work; and in one case a council saying that a person with an acquired brain injury will have to make do with a general home care provider with no ABI expertise, in ‘the interim’, until something better has been found. Oh and by the way, if he or his carer says no, they will be taken to the Court of Protection to get the patient’s capacity to refuse, assessed, and the carer injuncted from obstructing his partner’s rights to ‘care’!
  • Direct payment difficulties: a refusal to increase a person’s direct payment, covering care at night time, on account of the new interpretation of the working time directive regarding sleep-ins. Secondly, a case where the local population is being told “You can’t have one, unless it will save us money – so, unless you are willing to have a live-in carer, to avoid the NMW problem, or to pay someone directly, to avoid HQ costs of an agency, we won’t ever be granting direct payments as ‘appropriate’ because we’ve got a new framework contract with providers offering us large volume discounts, and so your personal budget will never be more than what it would cost us to meet your needs through one of them. There endeth Personalisation Policy, it seems. Lastly, a case where the young woman’s direct payment might be taken from her, on the basis that the council would like to ‘check her capacity’ to have been given one in the first place over 2 years ago, despite her having had enough capacity to take on a tenancy in her own name, and to get married and divorced in the meantime!
  • The DB Service’s decision to bar a person with a conviction when a teen, from volunteering with vulnerable adults, when he himself has a disability and was not given an advocate on referral to Safeguarding of a recent concern.
  • Provider issues: a care home struggling to tell the difference between self funders and Full Cost paying council clients, and thus not knowing who owes what to whom… And some legal help for parents of a woman who’d been thriving in supported living, until concern about DoL or the NMW ‘prevented’ the night staff from providing sufficiently close supervision to stop her from picking at a leg wound, with the consequence that she had to be taken to a relative’s own house for 24/7 distraction for over 2 months – whereupon the support providers felt unable to provide support, IN that home, during weekdays, if the young woman would not willingly go to day care activities when they came to collect her, all because of the way the service had been commissioned and funded to avoid the need for regulated home care staff to be allocated to the daytime hours
  • Top ups – a ‘Move your mum to a cheaper home by the end of the week, if you can’t pay a top up’ problem – for a daughter, whose mother had not been assessed at all for the therapeutic viability of moving her in the first place – let alone with regard to the suitability of the suggested new home; and another one for a gentleman whose mother is only IN a care home, at all, because of the failure of the council to manage the market and the consequential inadequacy of home care provision to manage people’s assessed needs in their OWN homes! And another demand for a top up for a woman who went into so-called respite care because her council literally could not find a home care agency which could meet her assessed need for two carers – except that that’s gone on now for 6 weeks and they think she should pay a top up to stay in the home THEY chose….
  • Psychiatric hospital impasses: a case where a young person was seemingly stuck in the transition between children and adults’ services, a diagnosis of untreatable emotional unstable personality disorder and sectionable mental health needs, and facing eviction from a CAMHS unit and transfer to an adults’ in patient psychiatric facility, just because the s117 team had been lacking an adults’ services team member from the council and had started planning a bit late – and secondly, some legal help in a complex hospital discharge arrangement involving the need for CoP authorisation of deprivation of liberty within a Community Treatment Order.

We could already do with some more volunteers with social work skills to speak to people who are struggling – it would require only about an hour or two at a time, and only on the phone, at a time that’s been booked, with details in advance. And you can always say no, if you can’t manage it. Please sign up on our site on www.CASCAIDr.org.uk under ‘Volunteer’ if interested.

Please do download our information as to what we’re about, try to put it up on council Advice and Information services, and help us level the playing field – just a little! CASCAIDr Q and A 2018

About CASCAIDr

CASCAIDr is a health and social care legal advice charity founded by Belinda Schwehr in 2018. It is registered with the Charity Commission and operates independently as a company limited by guarantee, and blogs on this site when cases of wider interest to members of the public come its way. Its site is at www.cascaidr.org.uk and its phone number is 01252 725890.

2 thoughts on “

What CASCAIDr’s been up to in its first three months

    1. CASCAIDr Post Author

      Only if we can find a company that wants to sponsor us so that we can distribute to Healthwatch and GP surgeries. It would say something like:
      Struggling with hospital discharge? Under pressure to pay a top up in order to vacate that bed?
      Been told that your care package is going to be cut by 40%, before anyone’s even looked at it?
      Exhausted from caring for a person who’s got a direct payment, but you can’t find any half way decent care and support staff to spend it on?
      Been told that you can have £450 a week to spend if you insist on staying in your own home, because that’s the cost of care home? Or not EVEN the cost of a care home in real life, but the cost that the council pretends it costs for an adequate care home placement?
      Been told that your relative doesn’t stand a chance of qualifying for Continuing NHS Health Care, (free care) even though they are terminally ill?

      All these positions represent what councils and NHS clinical commissioning groups are saying all over the country, and they can be challenged with LAW, LEGAL AWARENESS and LEGAL PRINCIPLE that public bodies can’t ignore.

      CASCAIDr is a charity seeking to clean up decision-making so that people’s rights are worth having, and get people what they are actually legally entitled to. Please see http://www.CASCAIDr.org.uk or phone 01252 560 856.

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