Date Published: 24 February 2010
Clearer laws on social care needed, according to MHF (UK)
In response to the launch of the Law Commission's report on social care, which recommends a new Act of Parliament to unify social care legislation, Simon Lawton-Smith, Head of Policy for the Mental Health Foundation (which incorporates the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities), said:
?A review of the legislation on social care is long overdue. Millions of people rely on social care every day and services need to be backed by legislation that's fit for purpose."
Commenting on the Law Commission's proposal to introduce a core set of overarching principles to guide social care decisions, Lawton-Smith added:
“The rights and duties surrounding social care are currently very complicated, which can make it incredibly frustrating for people trying to access support. The Law Commission's suggested introduction of some basic principles will make it easier for people to get the support they need, and for organisations providing services to know what's expected of them.
We would also suggest that the Commission looks at the overlap of health and social care, which is often confusing for all concerned. Many people need help from both and all too often get caught up in a bureaucratic tangle. Clearer legal guidance on how health and social care should work together would help avoid this.?
The Law Commission's report also suggests an explicit duty to assess individuals' needs, a duty on local authorities to provide community services for all those eligible, and the introduction of a single duty to assess the needs of any carer.
Source: Mental Health Foundation, UK..