Social and recreational services

are provided under a number of different statutes:

s2 CSDPA – for disabled people, including learning disabled services;

s21 NAA – as ancillary provision or part of 24 hr care, for care home residents

s21 NHSA – by way of prevention or care or aftercare of persons who have been ill, or who are at risk of mental disorder

s117 MHA – aftercare services on discharge from hospital

s45 HSPHA – for older persons


It is unlawful to do an assessment without having regard to the social and recreational needs of the client, if the client is disabled. It is probably a breach of government guidance, if not the law, to leave this domain out of anyone’s assessment. The authority for this proposition is the case of Haringey LBC ex p Norton no. 1.

An assessment of those needs, however, does not necessarily lead to provision of services to meet them, because the authority is entitled to take a view on whether the need is sufficiently pressing to necessitate service provision through its auspices, if acting under the CSDPA, or otherwise whether the needs call for a service, under the other legislation mentioned above.

It would be unlawful, in our view, to treat all social and recreational ambitions as wishes rather than needs. They are specified as needs in the CSDPA.

It would also be inappropriate, in our view to make a unilateral cut-back in access to social and recreational facilities in order to meet a budget target, if the provision had arisen in the first place from an assessment of need. A proper re-assessment against new tighter criteria, or identification of what was needed before was no longer needed (see Birmingham City Council ex p Killigrew) would be a legal pre-requisite to a cut in service provision.


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