Community care law

Private and publically funded work

Photo of an Individual in a Hospital Waiting RoomCommunity care law is about the assistance you may be entitled to if you have infirmities or if you care for someone who has. Problems often relate to services provided by Social Services or the NHS, as well as some community services provided by voluntary organizations. It can involve issues that could affect any of us but may particularly affect older people, adults or children with care needs, including those with a mental or physical disability.

Some examples of how we may be able to assist you include:

  • Obtaining or challenging community care assessments
  • Challenging service provision decisions, quality of service, withdrawal of service and cost capping
  • Challenging charges for community care services
  • Obtaining or challenging a personal budget or some other form of direct payment
  • Advising carers on their rights
  • Representing incapacitated adults in relation to their best interests
  • Challenging hospital discharge decisions or the care package to be put in place to facilitate them
  • Advising on children’s services
  • Advising migrants who have health and/or care needs
  • Advice on making a Lasting Power of Attorney (qualifies for legal aid where the client meets the means test – see means test – and is either over 70 or disabled)

 

Referral criteria

Community care is a relatively new area of law and we realise it is often difficult to know whether an issue actually falls within community care, this is particularly relevant where the client is likely to be entitled to legal aid.

The following issues fall outside the remit of community care law (and our LSC contract):

  • Benefits problems (including Disability benefits)
  • Childcare proceedings (e.g. decisions about where and with whom a child may live)
  • Cases involving the criminal prosecution of service users or their carers
  • Injury or loss resulting from negligent care

 

Notable cases

R (Boxall) v Waltham Forest LBC [2001] 4 CCLR 258 – We obtained suitable housing and other services for a family with a disabled parent and child with severe behavioural problems.