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November 20, 2008

Elder Care: Sector Heading for Home Closures (UK)

Heading for home closures

ByNicola Williams and Trish D’Souza

Closing care homes is never easy, but there are legal pitfalls which can be avoided, claim Nicola Williams and Trish D’SouzaIn the current financial climate, there is pressure on councils to achieve efficiency savings at the same time as improving standards of care. As part of the process, this may involve closing residential and nursing care homes, and moving residents to modernised accommodation – hopefully, with improved standards of care. So, how can local authorities go about this?

Consult, consult, consult
Local councils are under a duty to consult before making a final decision about altering service provision.

Effective outsourcing Last summer, the case of YL v Birmingham City Council and Others [2007] 3All ER 957 came before the House of Lords.

The claimants in this case argued that, where a public function was contracted out by a public body, obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998 automatically became the responsibility of the commercial or voluntary sector entity which took over responsibility for the provision of those services. The Lords rejected this argument. However, there have been several attempts to revive this argument in different contexts, including a section in the Health and Social Care Act 2006 (section 145(1)) which has the effect that care home providers will become susceptible to claims of violation of a service-user’s human rights as if they were themselves a public body for that purpose. At the time of writing, there is no date set for the coming into force of this section.

Abridged
SOURCE: LocalGov - London,UK
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DISCLAIMER

Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.

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