HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE SOCIAL WELFARE LAW GROUP AT GARDEN COURT!
R (KM) v Cambridgeshire CC  EWHC 2065 (Admin)(HHJ Bidder QC): It was lawful to assess the needs of an individual and then to translate those assessed needs into an appropriate level of funding, that is thought will reasonably meet those needs, via an RAS (Resource Allocation System), providing that the RAS calculation is treated as an indicative level of funding, which is then checked against the individual’s assessment to ensure that the level will be reasonably sufficient, and modified if it is too high or too low (see the case of R (Savva) v Kensington and Chelsea RLBC  EWHC 414 Admin and  EWCA Civ 1209, considered in our November 2010 update). That is what the local authority in this case did. Further, the local authority had provided sufficient, fair reasons by explaining its final funding figure by reference to the hours of personal support that they considered the Claimant would require and the rates that he would have to pay. The Claimant’s legal advisers’ suggestion that the local authority had acted unlawfully by “failing to provide an explanation setting out the services required to meet the Claimant’s needs” betrayed a “complete misunderstanding of the system of self-directed support. Both the RAS and the Upper Banding Calculator, compared as they were with the assessment and operated using the skill and experience of social workers, were assessments of needs and not services but the RAS was a tool for translating needs into a sum which was adequate to provide the services for those needs by reference to the average costs of the provision by the authority of meeting those needs for other disabled people …. The self-directed support system …. was designed to provide a sufficient sum to meet the Claimant’s needs but it was up to the Claimant and his advisers to determine how to meet that sum”. The sums provided in respect of personal care were sufficient to enable the “facilitation” of a holiday, for the purposes of section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. The rationality challenge was hopeless. Click here for the transcript.