The Welsh Government is consulting on a draft Social Services (Wales) Bill, to create a coherent legislative framework, bringing together social services' duties towards children and adults. The Bill proposes a new concept of “people in need”. Consultation closes on 1 June 2012. For more details click here.
R (Bevan & Clarke LLP and others) v Neath Port Talbot CBC  EWHC 236 Admin (Beatson J): the Commissioning Guidance issued by the Welsh Ministers under section 7 of LASSA 1970 (Fulfilled Lives, Supportive Communities: Commissioning Framework, Guidance and Good Practice, August 2010) meant that whilst the Council was less closely regulated than a social landlord it did not have the freedom that a private individual would have to use its bargaining power to drive down the price as far as possible; accordingly, its decision as to what fees to pay care home providers was amenable to judicial review. However, the judicial review application failed because, overall, the Council’s decision had been rational and, in particular, it had been rational for the Council to (i) take into account its own figures derived from applying the Laing & Buisson “toolkit” as well as those provided by Care Forum Wales, (ii) use a lower rate of return on capital than the 12% suggested in the “toolkit” and (iii) taking into account its lack of resources, set a rate for fees less than both its own and Care Forum Wales’ assessment of the costs of care. Click here for the transcript.
R (NM) v Islington LBC  EWHC 414 Admin (Sales J): it had been lawful for the Council to decline to assess the claimant’s community care needs, under section 47 of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990, because the claimant was in prison and, whilst his case was about to be considered by the Parole Board, it could not be said that it was reasonably clear that he was about to be in need of community care services: his potential need was conditional on the Parole Board directing his release from prison and, before the Parole Board could properly direct the claimant’s release on he basis that he was to live in Islington, multi-agency public protection arrangements would have to be operated, and that had not been done: before the Parole Board could direct the claimant’s release on the basis that he was to live in Islington: “the connection between the proposed consideration of the Claimant's case by the Parole Board as things stand on the case before the Board and the release of the Claimant to go to Islington is too conditional and speculative to fall within the narrow class of future provision cases covered by section 47(1). Nor can it be properly said that the Claimant is "about to be in need" or "may reasonably be considered to be liable" to have an order for release made in his favour”. Click here for the transcript.