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g statutory bodies, are obliged to restrict their activities to actions specifically authorised by legal statute. The Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 sets the general framework of social services authority functions and responsibilities. The functions ate normally defined as: Obligatory: Discretionary Statutory duty Non statutory power

Inevitably there are some slightly grey areas. The Third Edition of the publication Community Care and the Law, published in 2004 has been used for the purpose of this overview. The terms can and may defined in this book have been identified as a non statutory power. The terms shall or must have been identified as a statutory duty. Following the Local Government Act 2000, elected cabinet members now have considerable flexibility as to how they undertake their social services responsibilities. LEGISLATION AND KEY PROVISION The relevant legislation and key provisions relating to adults with disabilities is tabled below: Legislation 1. Provisions Duty/Power National This Act is still the statutory basis for Assistance Act the vast majority of local authority 1948 (NAA) residential accommodation placements. Duty It placed a duty on local authorities to provide accommodation of different descriptions, for people aged 18 & over who are ordinarily resident in their area, who are assessed as being in need of care and attention by reason of their disability, which is not otherwise available to them. Duty It also placed a duty on LAs to make charges for the accommodation in

Sec 21

Sec 22

Sec 29

accordance with the fixed standard rate by the authority managing the premises, and in accordance with an assessment of the persons ability to pay. Power It gave LAs the power to make arrangements for promoting welfare of persons with substantial and permanent disabilities, in the provision of occupational activities, facilities, adaptations in order to overcome limitations of communication or mobility. Chronically This Act drafted changes to the Duty Sick & provision of welfare services for Disabled disabled persons set out in Sec 29 of Persons Act the NAA above, from 1970 discretionary to obligatory.


Sec 1&2 It also increased the planning obligation on social services to keep an information register as to the need for, and the existence of, welfare services. 3. National Health This need for effective planning was Duty Service & carried forward in this Act, which Community required LAs and the NHS to Care Act 1990 prepare, publish, consult and review (NHS & CCA) annual Community Care plans for the Sec 46 & 47 provision of community care services in their area. LAs to carry out assessments of Duty needs, and/or involve other services such as health or housing, for any individuals where it appears that they may be in need of Community Care Services. If it is decided that this is the case, Power then the LA must make arrangements for those services to be provided through the care planning process.


Carers (Recognition & Services) Act 1995.

Sec 1


Carers Disabled Children 2000

Sec 1

This Act introduced the concept of a Duty duty on LAs to carry out a carers assess. assessment of the carers ability to provide substantial and regular care, if requested to do so by the carer. However, the rights of the carer depended upon the service user being assessed. & This Act extended the rights of carers Power to a free standing assessment, and Act consideration to be given to the carers need for support services, and for services to be made available by way of Direct Payments and vouchers. Power


Sec 2

In the case of assessments and services for both carer and person cared for, the LA must decide whether the service is to be provided under this Act, or by way of community care services. This decision is to be made without regard to the means of the carer or of the person cared for. 6. The Carers (Equal The Act introduces statutory Opportunities) Act 2004 obligations on LAs to inform carers of their rights, and to consider whether the carer wishes to work, undertake education, training or any leisure activity. 7. Health & Social Care Act This Act provides for the effective 2001 merger of social and health care Sec 49 bodies under Partnership arrangements.

Duty inform.



This allows the NHS and LAs to pool Duty their resources, delegate functions and transfer resources to enable a single provider to provide both health and local authority services. The Act legislates for the exclusion of nursing care from community care Duty services, and where the primary need of a person is a health need, then the responsibility is that of the NHS.

Health and Local Authorities are required to draw up and implement Duty Continuing Care Guidance for eligibility of health care funding, where the primary need is a health need. For people with learning disability, although their needs generally are primarily social, the complexity or unpredictability of some individuals health care needs to be monitored to identify eligibility to Continuing Care Funding and Care within community settings. 8. Community Care (Direct There is provision under this Act for Power Payments) Act 1996. Direct Payments to be made by the local authority to an individual person within the regulations relating to Direct Payments, to enable them to secure their own provision of services identified in their Community Care Plan. 9. The Care Standards Act The regulation of care homes is now Duty 2000 governed by this Act, which repealed the Registered Homes Act 1984. In April 2002 responsibility for registered care homes and domiciliary agencies was transferred to the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), who have extensive enforcement powers and operate a complaints procedure which service users and family members can lodge complaints about registered services. 10. Valuing People: A new White paper, which advocates a Strategy for Learning number of new policy initiatives Disability for the 21st concerning the rights of people with Century. learning disabilities, based on 4 principles of Rights, Independence, Choice and Inclusion. This includes the development of the

Learning Disability Partnership Boards with responsibility to implement the program. 11. Supporting People Housing related support services for Power programme 2003 vulnerable people to enable individuals to live in more independent accommodation than they otherwise might.