Day 6 of the #LBBill Twelve Days of Christmas and it’s time for Clause 4.
Clause 4 would make sure that any time the state takes responsibility for where a disabled person is to live, the arrangements made would have to be the ‘most appropriate’ for them. The starting point should be what the disabled person themselves wants. Other factors to take into account include continued community ties, links to family and friends and opportunities to have positive activities like employment or education. This clause also discusses the issue of costs. We consider that we have three options:
Option 1) Say cost is irrelevant in deciding what is most appropriate.
Option 2) Say nothing about cost.
Option 3) Say the costs of different potential living arrangements are a ‘relevant consideration’.
Option 1 doesn’t seem realistic. Option 2 seems unhelpful and vague. We think Option 3 is best because it means that cost is relevant, but not necessarily the deciding factor.
For example, if there are two living arrangements to choose between, the first is what the disabled person wants and allows strong links to friends and family, but the second is a little cheaper; the first would be ‘most appropriate’ and must be arranged.
However, if the first option is only a little better and costs twice as much, then the second will probably be ‘most appropriate’. If agreement can’t be reached, the disabled person or family would need to request a judicial review.
We have an audio introduction to the clause with easy-read images available here:
We are keen to hear whether people think that there is a better way with dealing with costs. Would what we propose work?
What factors should be taken into account when deciding what is most appropriate?
We think there needs to be a clear right to genuinely independent advocacy in this decision making process. We do not think the new right to advocacy under the Care Act 2014 is enough. Do you agree or disagree?