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Call for revamp of social care laws

11th May 2011

The Law Commission says there needs to be a revamp of adult social care law in England and Wales.

The government advisory body said the current framework was outdated and flawed and changes were needed to ensure fairer access to services.

The report by the Law Commission will be used to reform social care in England in the coming years.

An independent commission set up to look at how social care should be funded will report in July with new legislation in 2012.

Frances Patterson QC, the law commissioner leading the review, wants existing laws and regulations replaced by a single adult social care statute and a code of practice which local authorities would be required to follow.

The charity Age UK feels the current legislation is unsatisfactory and that the review would be an opportunity to replace them with a “clear, logical and consistent framework.”

Care services minister Paul Burstow, who stressed the recommendations would be carefully looked at, said: “This report provides foundation for the most significant single reform of social care law in 60 years.”

Current social care law is encased in 40 different laws and numerous individual pieces of guidance and since the National assistance act of 1948, has developed in a piecemeal fashion.

Critics say the system is inconsistent, while the Law Commission report says that it is confusing for users and is often contradictory.

It calls for a duty for councils to assess the needs of carers and wants the NHS and local government to work together more closely.

 

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