I won't let my son be sent to a home

Worcester News: I won't let my son be sent to a home: County Hall dispute I won't let my son be sent to a home: County Hall dispute

CONTROVERSIAL plans to scrap at-home care for the vulnerable in Worcestershire are facing a challenge in the High Court after a 17-year-old’s mother brought legal action.

A disabled teenager, who has epilepsy, Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities, has won permission from the High Court for a full Judicial Review amid fears from his family that he faces being forced into a residential home.

Last November, county council bosses announced a new policy where disabled adults requiring new care packages will no longer automatically get 24-hour support in their own homes.

Instead, they will be handed cheaper alternatives, which could include being placed in ‘cluster’ style flats with on-call nurses, or even being moved to care homes.

The entire policy could now be in tatters – with council chiefs suspending it before it has even officially started to defend it in court.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, lives in Worcestershire with his parents and is due to turn 18 this year, at which point the policy kicks in.

Polly Sweeney, from Irwin Mitchell solicitors and represents the claimant, said: “The policy is likely to have a significant impact on the ability of many disabled people within Worcestershire to live an independent life in the community.

“We have real concerns the process by which the council took this decision is seriously flawed and as a result, the needs of disabled people have not been properly considered.”

A hearing is expected to start in July after the High Court agreed to a Judicial Review on Thursday.

Councillor Peter McDonald, leader of Worcestershire’s Labour group, said: “This is great news - you cannot put a price on the disabled and expect to get away with it.

“For the most vulnerable people in Worcestershire there is no place better than home, if that’s where they want to be.

“Hopefully this policy will collapse.”

The council says around 2,000 people currently receive community care packages in Worcestershire, costing taxpayers £11 million.

Some need very basic services, but others require more intensive, around-the-clock support, and the authority says the cost is rising.

Care ranges from visits to help with washing, dressing and cleaning, to the most expensive user in the county, who cost £232,000 to support last year.

The policy is aimed at saving £500,000 over four years and would apply to all new people requiring the service, and any existing users with escalating needs.

At-home care will still be available when there are no cheaper options available, or in cases where the family are prepared to part-fund it.

Simon Mallinson, head of legal and democratic services at Worcestershire County Council, said: “We do not accept that it is unlawful to make best use of taxpayers' money, but pending the outcome of this challenge we have chosen not to implement the policy in the meantime to avoid potential disruption."

Comments (9)

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8:36am Mon 20 May 13

stour67 says...

A new low for this council,lets hit the poor and vulnerable so we can waste the money on new offices and leisure centres that nobody wants and we don't need so someone can say built that.
A new low for this council,lets hit the poor and vulnerable so we can waste the money on new offices and leisure centres that nobody wants and we don't need so someone can say built that. stour67

8:56am Mon 20 May 13

jb says...

I've just managed to get my 23 year old son care funding which covers three days support and activities per week (6-7 hours per day), it's been a struggle but in the end they approved it. That still means that I care for him for the rest of the week at home. Reading that one service users care cost £232,000 last year is quite shocking! Although I completely disagree with the maximum expenditure policy there does need to be a fairer way of spreading the money between all people who need support.
My son needs 24/7 care (Downs Syndrome and Autism) and I had to fight for a budget which only allows him three days out a week, I know quite a few other families where budgets have been cut and therefore the individuals have to give up some activities and lose care support which family carers desperately need for a break.
I hope this family are able to win their case at least then the county council will get the message that they can't bully people into accepting inadequate care funding or face going into a home. However much the council want to ignore this the fact remains that families and vulnerable individuals do feel like they have to beg for the very support they are entitied to because the council need to save money.
I've just managed to get my 23 year old son care funding which covers three days support and activities per week (6-7 hours per day), it's been a struggle but in the end they approved it. That still means that I care for him for the rest of the week at home. Reading that one service users care cost £232,000 last year is quite shocking! Although I completely disagree with the maximum expenditure policy there does need to be a fairer way of spreading the money between all people who need support. My son needs 24/7 care (Downs Syndrome and Autism) and I had to fight for a budget which only allows him three days out a week, I know quite a few other families where budgets have been cut and therefore the individuals have to give up some activities and lose care support which family carers desperately need for a break. I hope this family are able to win their case at least then the county council will get the message that they can't bully people into accepting inadequate care funding or face going into a home. However much the council want to ignore this the fact remains that families and vulnerable individuals do feel like they have to beg for the very support they are entitied to because the council need to save money. jb

10:45am Mon 20 May 13

Letterman says...

Another example of council staff ignoring the vulnerable and those who require care, instead claiming they need to make cuts but are quite happy to waste vast amounts of money on ill conceived schemes with little benefit and excessive staff salaries. The council is staffed by ignorant bullies, who have no sense of the real world or understanding that some people require genuine and personal care. Those that make such poor judgements need to be named and shamed.
Another example of council staff ignoring the vulnerable and those who require care, instead claiming they need to make cuts but are quite happy to waste vast amounts of money on ill conceived schemes with little benefit and excessive staff salaries. The council is staffed by ignorant bullies, who have no sense of the real world or understanding that some people require genuine and personal care. Those that make such poor judgements need to be named and shamed. Letterman

3:02pm Mon 20 May 13

emjaypee says...

Lets hope this appalling policy is rightly beaten in the courts.
Campion is now in charge of adult social care as well as all the other posts he holds to which it is impossible to give fair time. Another Tory policy which targets the most vulnerable whilst the department only gets paid lip service from it's cabinet member.
Lets hope this appalling policy is rightly beaten in the courts. Campion is now in charge of adult social care as well as all the other posts he holds to which it is impossible to give fair time. Another Tory policy which targets the most vulnerable whilst the department only gets paid lip service from it's cabinet member. emjaypee

4:23pm Mon 20 May 13

Jabbadad says...

When the Winterbourne scandal was exposed, Worcester County Council acting as commisioners had 3 people staying at Winterbourne, and in the following DOH enquiry they (WCC commisioners) were criticised for not regularly enquiring as to the welfare of those placed into this institution. The cost to the taxpayers of Worcestershire was from £2,000 to almost £30,000 per week. Situations such as these must raise questions from those who are as jb fighting to get much smaller sums to help in the huge 24/7 task of care they undertake at home.
I have always believed that Carers are special people and You / they are.
When the Winterbourne scandal was exposed, Worcester County Council acting as commisioners had 3 people staying at Winterbourne, and in the following DOH enquiry they (WCC commisioners) were criticised for not regularly enquiring as to the welfare of those placed into this institution. The cost to the taxpayers of Worcestershire was from £2,000 to almost £30,000 per week. Situations such as these must raise questions from those who are as jb fighting to get much smaller sums to help in the huge 24/7 task of care they undertake at home. I have always believed that Carers are special people and You / they are. Jabbadad

10:53pm Mon 20 May 13

jean1234 says...

I would agree with the editors comment, re a mothers love and determination being the driving force behind challenging our council. Im a mother of a disabled child and know from bitter experience its fight, fight, fight to get any sort of service provision these days and parents are exhausted and most of us are sick of fighting. Why cant we have a caring society which just accepts the need to care for the most vulnerable within it? I hope the "mystery mum" reads all of our comments and draws strength from them, I wish her and her son well for the future.
I would agree with the editors comment, re a mothers love and determination being the driving force behind challenging our council. Im a mother of a disabled child and know from bitter experience its fight, fight, fight to get any sort of service provision these days and parents are exhausted and most of us are sick of fighting. Why cant we have a caring society which just accepts the need to care for the most vulnerable within it? I hope the "mystery mum" reads all of our comments and draws strength from them, I wish her and her son well for the future. jean1234

12:00am Tue 21 May 13

PadelHater says...

Presumably this was the straw that broke the camels back for the Liberala and caused them to withdraw their support from the Tories, oh how the Tories despise the disabled.
Presumably this was the straw that broke the camels back for the Liberala and caused them to withdraw their support from the Tories, oh how the Tories despise the disabled. PadelHater

6:14am Tue 21 May 13

laidback says...

PadelHater says...
12:00am Tue 21 May 13

Presumably this was the straw that broke the camels back for the Liberala and caused them to withdraw their support from the Tories, oh how the Tories despise the disabled.

Read the letter; County Council funding not City Council. High in rhetoric and short on fact as usual.
PadelHater says... 12:00am Tue 21 May 13 Presumably this was the straw that broke the camels back for the Liberala and caused them to withdraw their support from the Tories, oh how the Tories despise the disabled. Read the letter; County Council funding not City Council. High in rhetoric and short on fact as usual. laidback

9:10am Tue 21 May 13

Jabbadad says...

However the Statement oh how the tories despise the Disabled applies to the Tory county councillors as well. So perhaps all Tories despise the disabled could be seen in their overall actions which really do have a seriously unhelpfull efect on the disabled.
However the Statement oh how the tories despise the Disabled applies to the Tory county councillors as well. So perhaps all Tories despise the disabled could be seen in their overall actions which really do have a seriously unhelpfull efect on the disabled. Jabbadad

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