Adult Social Care Myths to be busted by @CASCAIDr during its fundraising campaign 4-15 December

These are our favourites but we’ll vary them if there is a big demand for some others we’ve not yet come across: please email [email protected] with your nominations

• You can’t have an assessment – you couldn’t possibly qualify!
• You can’t have an assessment unless you try prevention and re-ablement first (for years!)

• You can’t have an assessment until you actually come here to live, and have arrived!
• You can’t get social care at all, if you’ve got more than £23,250 in savings

• You can’t get an advocate if you’ve got anyone else who’s able to speak for you
• You can’t get an advocate unless you are mentally incapacitated

• You can’t get an advocate because we haven’t got any spare at the moment – let’s just get on with your assessment, shall we?
• You can’t count as a carer if your relative is already in a care home, in supported living, in hospital or if they are on Continuing Health Care or s117 Mental Health Act aftercare

• Sorry, we don’t ‘do’ shopping, cleaning, recreation, meal preparation or night time care, any longer…it’s not social care, you see, because everyone has these needs…and there’s benefits for all that stuff
• If you’re a carer, you will have to make do with a set sum of money for your support needs, because that’s what we’ve always done

• If you disagree with the budget we offer you, we don’t have to give you any service in the meantime
• If you complain, we have to suspend the care planning process until that’s been finished

• We can decide whether your care and support needs are met or not, even if we don’t pay for anything after the assessment in which we found you were eligible…
• We can cap respite to a set amount per year and charge carers for it

• We can change your care plan and cut the funding whenever our own funding gets cuts from central government or our own budget looks wobbly
• We can tell you at your review how much we’re going to cut your budget by, without any other process or negotiation

• If you’re a person with a learning disability, you have to live in shared care to get our services, even if that means moving into a tenancy we’ve secured for you…
• If you live in one of the tenancies we can secure for you, you have to abide by house rules about friends coming back for the night

• You can only have a direct payment for your services, if it saves us money…
• We can tell you that you have to use an agency from our preferred provider list for your direct payment funded services

• People’s relatives aren’t allowed to be paid out of a direct payment
• We can cap the level of services provided in your own home to whatever the cost of any other way of meeting your needs would be, any alternative that we can think of…

• Top-Ups aren’t lawful, so you can’t do business with us, or ever charge the client or other people anything extra
• We tell you, the provider, what the price of care is, and you have to accept our prices, and sue third parties for any top-ups that dry up!

Belinda Schwehr

About Belinda Schwehr

Belinda has been a lawyer (both a barrister and then a solicitor advocate), a law lecturer at a university, and a trainer and consultant specialising in Adults' Social Care legal framework issues. She first became interested in social care law when the Gloucestershire case was running between 1995 and 1997, never having met a real live social worker, before that point! She regards social care as the most interesting field of law she has ever been associated with, combining aspects of public law, the regulation of power, economics, management skills, EU law, procurement, criminal law, incapacity law, land law and contract, and doesn't expect ever to tire of the stuff. If the Care Act is going to be the last word on it, however, she would like to think it was worth all that sitting there and getting fatter whilst thinking about how it should all hang together! She does glass craftwork and house renovations for a hobby, has one son in his twenties, and about 5000 online friends... soon to be 50,000, with any luck!

4 thoughts on “

Adult Social Care Myths to be busted by @CASCAIDr during its fundraising campaign 4-15 December

    1. Belinda SchwehrBelinda Schwehr Post Author

      Happy with the first, as a myth, but not the second – because if that was a complete myth, nobody would be working on a zero hours contract for an agency. The PA here might be putting up their rate willy nilly, and we’d all be underwriting that. The local market rate could well go up though, if all PAs do the same thing….

  1. Tiger mum

    My local Council LBWF, who pays me respite money, have in summer 2017 made an announcement that from now on, carers in the borough are NOT to receive respite money anymore. This is an “across’ the board decision.” I was told by a representative, .. ” No carers will get respite any more., Instead we are offering a NEW DEAL, to carers, which is…the cared for Person will be reassessed, and if they need any more money , THEY will get it, this will be centre based” (not suitable, and all closed down anyway) “or home based,”. (also not suitable) “and so if they spend time away from you, YOU WONT NEED RESPITE! WILL YOU!!.”…this last part was said to me in a distinctly triumphant tone! ….I in fact use MY respite money to lift and enhance BOTH our lives, which in turn makes my daughter easier to care for and gives us BOTH , best usage and outcomes for BOTH of us. Making MY life a whole lot easier, and this in itself is respite for me. If I were to use it £ for £ on a carer to come in while I went OUT, I’d need ten times what they give me, for it to have any beneficial effect on my life. I’m NOT accepting this ‘ across the board’ decision as legal. But I’m still having to fight tooth and nail every month for them to pay it. My adult daughter is severely Autistic with LD , and other health and behavioural problems, it would cost them FIVE times what we get combined, if I dropped dead and she had to have full residential care and support. I only use HER money for HER needs that are DIRECTLY related to her DISABILITY.

    1. Belinda SchwehrBelinda Schwehr Post Author

      Not sure what to say about this, because it’s not a policy or a practice: this is the law. Respite is not a service for a carer: it is an aspect of the service user’s needs. No council has any discretion about this. The Care Act and the statutory guidance make it clear beyond any doubt that the absence of a willing and able carer creates unmet need, which must thus be met. A sitting service that enables the carer to go out to do eg shopping for the service user might be a carer’s service, to meet THEIR needs generated by the support that they are doing, but not care which enables them to withdraw care. That is the service user’s need. If you as a carer have eligible needs arising from the support you provide, then you will still get those met or funded. The council can’t say it won’t. But it probably isn’t wise to refer to your needs as respite.

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