R (South Tyneside Care Home Owners Association) v South Tyneside Council  EWHC 1827 Admin (HHJ Belcher): (1) the cost of capital forms part of the cost of providing care and whilst there may be cases where this capital cost is properly met simply by capital growth due regard must be paid to the question of capital cost – it cannot be ignored, (2) in this case the Council undertook an arithmetical exercise, rather than relying on its judgment and experience, as in the case of R (Members of the Committee of Care North East Northumberland) v Northumberland County Council  EWHC 234 Admin, but the exercise was flawed because it did not consider return on capital at all, (3) the Council’s approach was also wrong in law because it focussed on the overall level of profits made by homes (which also catered for self-funders) rather than the actual costs of providing care, (4) the Council also failed to take into account the higher cost of providing care to EMI residents, failed to consult lawfully by failing to disclose reasonable details of its methodology and analysis of financial information, made a number of factual errors and failed to complete an adequate equalities impact assessment. Click here for the judgment.
R (D) v Worcestershire CC  EWHC 2490 Admin (Hickinbottom J): the Council had acted lawfully in adopting a “Policy for Determining the Usual Maximum Expenditure for Non-Residential Care Packages” under which, absent exceptional circumstances, the maximum weekly expenditure on care in the community for an adult under 65 would be “no more than the net weekly cost…. of a care home placement that could be commissioned to meet the individual’s assessed eligible needs”: (1) the consultation process had been lawful in that, in particular, the Council had given consultees adequate and reasonably clear information about what was proposed and the likely consequences and it been lawful to consult with representative groups rather than all individuals who might be affected, (2) the likely consequences were not large numbers of individuals having to go into residential care, but securing more cost-effective home care packages, (3) there had not been any breach in the PSED. The judgment contains useful summaries of recent cases on consultation and the PSED. Click here for the judgment.