Keeping calm about the Care Act, during the crisis

CASCAIDr wants to support councils to excel at this very difficult time.

We know that social work staff did not sign up to do the minimum for vulnerable adults.

And we fervently hope to see a new approach to the value of social work and social care, after the virus is beaten, across government and amongst the public.

The number of people volunteering to offer care and support via the “NHS” volunteer scheme is testament to the importance of a social care safety net in our society.

Our request is that the public shares its experience, via this particular page, with a description of anything good that their council is doing or saying, under the Care Act, whilst the normal Care Act legal duties are on ice and everyone has to accept being prioritised, rather than having enforceable legal rights to any particular quality of life.

  • You might tell us, for instance, about a policy on screening for assessment for instance, a website for supported self-assessment, or a statement of categories of service users or types of needs that aren’t going to be thought to be able to sustain a cut.
  • It might be some clear advice and information about a policy for letting people’s relatives be paid out of the direct payment, albeit that they live in the same household. If it’s not necessary now, when would it ever be?
  • Or it could be a policy that your council has decided upon for deferring charges for social care, for the duration of the crisis, perhaps, or using its discretion for increasing the Minimum Income Guarantee?
  • It might be about a council’s indication of the sort of situations where the council publicises in advance that there would be a breach of human rights if the needs were not met – or what criteria it’s going to use.

So here’s our invitation:

  • We are keen to hear about – and publicise – sound, rational, sensitive, humane policies and practices from Councils or Care Trusts.
  • You don’t need to name yourself, publicly, if you don’t want to – your email address won’t be shown and if you don’t even want your NAME to show, simply omit to fill out the name box, and you will be shown as Anonymous.
  • You can choose whether or not to mention the council’s name.
  • You must anonymise the name of the person whose situation or stance you’re describing, if it’s not you – whether a service user or a worker. We suggest how to do that below.

We won’t publish material that we think is negative – it’s not the time or the place.

  • We are not saying don’t give us bad examples, or problems; we are saying that those need to be treated differently, please note.
  • If it’s a policy or general approach issue, do still give us it, please, on the form below, and we will reply privately to you with suggestions about how to get poor practice changed – we can exert some leverage with a simple letter as to why it’s not a great idea.
  • Examples that come to mind are the stories of surgeries sending consent forms for DNRs to be filled out in care homes on the basis that people over a certain age ‘won’t be offered hospitalisation or a ventilator’. Words fail us. But letters to CCGs and councils rarely do!

We’ll be moderating the material posted to the form at the bottom of this page, behind the scenes, so accounts of bad practice or policy will be treated as referrals for a free steer as to their legality, not put up on this page.

Anything that is put up on this page as an example of good practice can be further clarified by the council or Care Trust being promoted, via a further comment.

Our government will need an evidence basis for doing the 6 monthly monitoring of the Care Act easements, to which it has committed, regarding the hugely important decision as to when to resume “normal” Care Act services, based on legal rights and duties. This page can be a source of evidence of good approaches, and that might help the whole sector back to normality, sooner.

Individuals’ difficulties

If it’s an individual’s difficulty you need to get some help on, please tell us on our referral form on the top line menu bar, above, in the normal way.

How we’re surviving the crisis, as an organisation with no public funding stream

  • Unless charities get financial assistance, our Corona Crisis Mode is limited to a private free steer on all such issues.
  • Like every other charity, we’re scrabbling for grants, philanthropy, and donations.
  • We can and will make referrals on to law firms with capacity to take on cases that compel urgent action.
  • Any law firm that wants to offer us information about its credentials for this kind of work, and is willing to support us legitimately following SRA rules, Legal Aid rules or under its Corporate Social Responsibility Policy is welcome to get in touch with belinda@cascaidr.org.uk.

PS Don’t forget that we’re also providing free template letters for use by all members of the public in their own names, who want to know the right way to assert their case, politely and calmly, as one that must or really should be prioritised – the link to that page is HERE where they will be going up over the next few days, if we can survive, financially


Our form:

May we suggest that you copy and paste the most relevant form of wording below, into the Comment box below, before continuing to type in your own local story or good/not so good practice example:

My council is [name of the Council or Care Trust]…

I /Mr X/ Ms Y applied for adult social services, since the beginning of the virus crisis and …

Or

I / Mr X / Ms Y … am/is an existing adult client with a current care package/direct payment for care and support and …

Or

I am an unpaid carer to a person who has been getting adult social care services, and …

And then continue with the example of good practice, please, here

eg … the council / Care Trust is saying that…


Please share:
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Comments

  1. An example of good practice:
    I am an unpaid carer to a person who has adult social care services from Essex County Council.
    They have written to my Son explaining their help in with c19. Amongst this is an assurance that if additional support is needed they will allow the use of contingency funds of up to 25% for the next 4 months.

  2. I’m writing in about Wokingham Council’s view of good practice

    If a DP recipient has tested positive – their worker could be furloughed (we think that whether HMRC would see it as that, is yet to be seen), but then the LA should either replace the care by sending in emergency cover (via a dom care agency) or top up the DP account to enable the person to replace the care worker themselves. Good practice would also provide funding to pay the extra 20% for the ‘furloughed’ worker, so that the PA can still manage to pay their bills – they might not be willing to work given guidance about self isolation, but through no fault of their own, presuming the DP recipient is still happy with them as a worker.

    We think that good practice from the LA would identify all DP clients who employ PAs and ensure their workers have a letter identifying them as a key worker (personally addressed and on headed paper) so if questioned they can use their own ID as evidence and also reduce the possibility of such letters being used fraudulently.

    PAs that are employed by more than one DP recipient or that have chosen to keep on providing support to a person tested positive for Covid 19 (which we believe they can if they still choose, if it doesn’t negate the DP recipient’s or a self-employed PA’s insurance?) should have access to PPE and a good LA would enable them to access any stocks the LA holds

    A good LA would treat DP recipients care workers and DP clients as needing to be kept in the loop for the latest updates on PPE and safety measures etc.

    PAs that are part of schemes like Support with Confidence or Co-operatives/LLPs will find it easier to get guidance etc as it is easier for the LA to identify them, but of course all PAs – however hard it is to identify them -should have access to the above information because we all have to look after our own selves, and the recipient of the DP may be cognitively impaired without resources of much other support. Direct Payment support services in house or grant funded or contracted, should be expected to act as the most obvious source of information for DP recipients.