After years of fighting for an adequate care package at home, my elder sister’s council/social worker offered her a care home and refused to provide a slight increase in care that would have meet her needs in the community. Since she’s been in the care home she has rapidly declined in her physical and mental health as well as her mobility and cognitive/language abilities. She still maintains her own GP, who is shocked by how rapidly she’s declined despite the home providing decent care. She is a thousand times worse in the residential home than she was in her own place with the meager amount of support she was given. Is there anything at all we can do about this to hold the council responsible for failing her in this way?

Does she have a home to go to, still? I.e. accommodation where she has a right to occupy? It doesn’t have to be HERS – it could be the home of a relative, or the opportunity to have a tenancy in another building in which care could be provided, in theory. If so, ask for a review with the intention of getting her care plan revised. 

Of course, nobody would just remove a person from a care home without knowing what their rights to a care package would look like, so we understand that this is not as simple as it sounds.

If she lacks mental capacity, ensure she is under a current DoLS authorisation IF she is under continuous supervision and control and not free to leave – because that should be in place, and if it is in place, then that will enable her to get non-means tested legal aid to challenge the notion that this is in her best interests, in the Court of Protection. 

Additionally, you should seek legal advice from any legal aid firm with a community care legal aid contract, which is willing to take the matter on, IF, after triggering a review and revision, you get nowhere. 

For judicial review (a challenge to that revision decision, or rather, failure to revise her package) she will need to have less than £8K in savings for Legal Help, and under £103K in capital if she still owns a house, for full legal aid. 

It is likely that you will not find any law firms currently willing to take the case on, however, and that is why CASCAIDr exists. If you made this into a referral, we would probe the facts to find out whether there was a safeguarding issue behind the decision to offer funding for a care home placement and would not then get involved. If there was none, we’d still have to tell you that you need to appreciate that councils ARE allowed to take their own resources into account when deciding how to meet people’s needs, so a small increase on what MAY have been already a very much larger cost for care at home, than the cost of a care home, as long as the care home IS providing decent care, and life in a care home is not a breach of her Human Rights, properly understood, is not necessarily successfully judicially reviewable. 

It will all depend on the objectivity and persuasiveness of evidence that you can marshal before asking for a review, as to the impact on her, since she had to go and live in a care home. Saying she is ‘a thousand times worse’ is simply not going to be good enough to get permission to apply for judicial review, in our experience.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top