Saturday, 14 May 2011
Is Britain a country where old men and women facing a 'dog's breakfast' of social care can look forward to a brighter future ?
Frances Patterson QC, a Public Law Commissioner has led a 3 year project to review existing law governing social care for old men and women has said:
"Our recommendations will bring much-needed clarity and accessibility to this important area of the law and have a major, beneficial impact on the lives of many of our most vulnerable citizens."
The Report highlight's the fact that social care provision at the moment is no place for old men with :
* more than 40 existing laws and thousands of pages of guidance dating back to 1948 and appearing incomprehensible to most non-lawyers.
* 'carers' having no 'entitlement' to an assessment of their support needs irrespective of how intensively they provide care.
* local councils having no 'duty' to investigate abuse and neglect.
Michelle Mitchell, 'Age UK's' Charity Director, said:
"The Law Commission's recommendations provide a one-off opportunity to replace this dog's breakfast with a clear, logical and consistent framework. It is important, as we move forward to actual legislation, that political wrangling does not result in this clarity being lost."
Paul Burstow, the Government 'Care Services' Minister, said :
the Report provided "a strong foundation" for reform and legislation could follow next year.
Gary FitzGerald, Chief Executive of 'Action on Elder Abuse', applauded the proposed duty on councils to investigate abuse and neglect and said:
"Too many older and other vulnerable adults are relying on a postcode lottery for their protection and these recommendations will finally bring this situation to an end."
Lord Justice Munby, Chairman of the Commission, said:
"What we are trying to do is create a legal framework into which governments can, from time to time, slot different policies."
So old men of Britain, take heart, with a Q.C., a Lord Justice, a Government Minister and two Charity Directors on your side, perhaps your future is a little rosier.