Archives

Revised school transport guidance (England)

Cerebra, IPSEA, SOS!SEN and Contact have jointly written and article expressing concern about revised school transport guidance issued by the Department for Education and inviting families to complete a short…

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Decision making quality and the Local Government Ombudsman

Cerebra, the disabled children’s charity has published[1] an important and troubling analysis of data concerning the performance of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO). Over a decade of…

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Jam tomorrow – maybe: the revised Working Together guidance.

As expected, disabled children and their families will be disappointed by the updated 2023 Working Together guidance.  Despite compelling evidence that local authority assessment and care planning protocols discriminate against…

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Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII) research report

FII is a term adopted by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health – in essence – to replace what was previously referred to as ‘Munchausen syndrome by proxy’.…

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A care home as the cheaper option.

Can local authorities refuse to fund a home care package if it is cheaper for the person’s needs to be met in a care home? Where there is more than…

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Section 117 Mental Health Act (MHA) 1983 and Ordinary Residence: the Supreme Court decides

So, what was that all about? For some strange reason in 2020 the Department of Health and Social Care changed its mind concerning the determination of a person’s ordinary residence…

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Direct payments and disabled children

An earlier posting[1] considered an important local government ombudsman decision.  The decision confirmed that: (1) parents of disabled children have a right to opt for a direct payment even if…

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Fit-for-Purpose Guidance for the Assessment of Disabled Children & their Families.

Guidance developed by independent Parent Carer Groups and individual parent carers will be launched at a webinar on the 12 July 2023 10:30am – 12:30pm.  The document describes what they…

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Consultation on the revision of the ‘Working Together’ guidance.

The Department for Education (DfE) has opened a consultation on its proposal to update the 2018 ‘Working Together’ guidance.  It has summarised the overall aim of the update as a…

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A welcome judgment concerning social care charges

A local authority accepted that a disabled person had eligible needs for support to develop and maintain personal relationships, and provided funding for him to attend a social and life…

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PANS, PANDAS & Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII)

PANS and PANDAS are severe childhood impairments with symptoms of obsessive-compulsive behaviours, tics or eating restrictions that develop suddenly: conditions that can be accompanied by changes in normal behaviours, personality…

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School transport as a human right

There is an extensive body of English and Welsh law that requires local authorities to provide school / college transport for disabled young people.[1]  What is often forgotten, however, is…

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She was provided with a leaflet.

Flicking though the current (March 2023) batch of Local Government Ombudsman’s Children and Education complaints decisions is like re-watching Groundhog Days.  More than half of the complaints were not, for…

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Autism and Parental Blame

Parent Blame is not simply a problem encountered by families when dealing with Children’s Services.  It is, therefore, very welcome that West Midlands ADASS (the Association of Directors of Adult…

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462% increase in children’s ‘deprivation of liberty’ applications

A report published by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory highlights the ‘extreme vulnerability’ of children who are the subject of High Court applications that seek to deprive them of their…

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I love my dog.

  A provocative New Year posting from my good colleague Rachel Adam-Smith. .                                     _______________   I love my dog. He’s non-verbal. I love…

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A sufficiency of carers support services

John Bangs OBE[1] reflects on the recent UN carers rights decision and its implications in relation to the duties of local health and social care authorities to provide a sufficiency…

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Impoverished councils

An interesting complaint concerning (among other things[1]) a prolonged and significant loss of respite care for a young person transitioning into adult services.  Due to challenges resulting from his impairment,…

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A Landmark UN carers decision

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has handed down an important decision concerning the rights of unpaid carers in the case of Maria Simona Bellini v.…

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Fit for purpose disabled children’s assessment guidance

What would ‘fit for purpose’ disabled children’s assessment guidance look like?  At the School of Law, the University of Leeds, this is what we hope to be researching in the…

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NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) ~ Ombudsman report

The Health Service Ombudsman has published an important CHC report concerning the failure of an NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) - now known as an Integrated Care Board (ICB).  The…

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Double standards

The current political farce / tragedy has meant that a shaming report[1] concerning the institutional abuse of disabled young people has failed to attract the attention it deserves.  The report…

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Parent Blame in the NHS

The Kirkup Report[1] – published earlier this week – identified the scandalous treatment of mothers in maternity and neonatal services in East Kent.  It uses the words ‘blame’ / ‘blaming’…

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Troubling conclusions

  A parent refused to sign a council’s safety plan (relating to support for her disabled son) because it implied that she had on one occasion refused to allow workers…

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The duty to meet needs

What can be done when a disabled person’s or a carer’s assessed social care needs are not being met – either because no care and support is available or because…

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What exactly is going on in Bristol?

In ‘Clustered Injustice’ I refer to one of the key insights gained from working on the Cerebra research programme with disabled children and their families.  It may be obvious to…

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FII (Fabricated or Induced Illness) Survey

The disabled children’s charity Cerebra is concerned about reports from families with disabled children which suggest that a significant number have been accused by practitioners of creating or exaggerating their…

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New NHS Continuing Healthcare Framework

The Department of Health and Social Care has published a revised NHS Continuing Healthcare Framework – a copy of which can be accessed by clicking here. A handout of a…

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At last – something sensible on FII

Allegations by professionals that families are guilty of FII (Fabricated or Induced Illness) appear to be proliferating as do training programmes that seek to alert social care and health professionals…

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No more than ‘reasonably practicable’

  Councils do not have to charge for care and support services under the Care Act 2014, but if they do the Statutory Guidance states (para 8.2) that in determining…

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Government concedes carers’ hospital discharge rights

An earlier posting referred to Baroness Pitkeathley’s amendment to the Health and Care Bill which – although opposed by the Government – was passed in the House of Lords by…

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Direct payments and disabled children with the ‘wrong impairments’.

A parent complained that a local authority commissioned ‘Early Help’ service (for ‘short break’ sessions) was unsuitable for her son.  She complained that the Council had offered no alternative and…

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Carers victory in the Lords

  The Health and Care Bill currently going through Parliament repeals the Community Care (Delayed Discharges etc.) Act 2003 and with it, the duty on NHS trusts to ensure that…

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Coroner criticises ‘Working Together 2018’

A further report by Richard Travers, the Senior Coroner for Surrey has been published concerning the death of Oskar Miles Nash.  The report focuses on action that is necessary to…

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Holidays and Poor Law Commissioners

R (RG) v Suffolk County Council[1].  On one level this case concerns the extent to which a council’s ability to promote an individual’s well-being (under section 1 Care Act 2014)…

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It is time to recognise the unpaid carer as a worker

 The guest post you are about to read from a good colleague considers one of the greatest issues confronting the care system in the UK – namely the need for…

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What a mess – s117 ordinary residence (again)

In a nutshell – and congratulations if you understand this: The Court of Appeal has reversed a High Court decision that reversed a decision of the Department of Health and…

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Blamed and criticised for her parenting

Seven years after he was adopted (as an infant) a child was diagnosed as having an alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder, autism and ADHD.  His adoptive mother made multiple requests to the…

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Parent Carer Blame webinar materials

On the 8th December 2021 Cerebra hosted a webinar that provided an overview of the 2021 Cerebra Legal Entitlements and Problem-Solving (LEaP) research report.  The report describes how local authority…

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Webinar: Wednesday December 8th: 10am

Parent Carer Blame: bringing about meaningful change. A 90 minute, free webinar that provides: (1) an overview of 2021 Research report that describes how local authority policies create a culture…

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A High Octane Conflict

A very welcome judgment of the High Court concerning a ‘high octane conflict’ between the parents of a profoundly disabled 12 year old boy and the professionals involved in his…

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‘Autism Plus’ policies

In 2020 the Cerebra Legal Entitlements and Problem-solving (LEaP) programme together with the Disability Law Service published research ( generally referred to as the 'Autism Plus Report') which highlighted the…

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Parent carer blame with added stereotyping

On the 2nd September BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour[1] featured the recent Cerebra research report ‘Institutionalising Parent Carer Blame’.[2]  The programme included compelling accounts from parents of disabled children who…

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Institutionalising Parent-carer Blame

Disabled children and their families are one of the most severely disadvantaged groups in the UK. A major research report published today (21 July 2021) finds that most English Children’s…

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An expression of righteous anger might sometimes not be amiss?

In 2019 the ombudsman published a report[1] which criticised a council for its decision to (among other things) reduce a disabled person’s care and support plan without a proper assessment…

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Parent Carer’s Needs Assessments

Some local authorities appear to think that they have no duty to provide support for a family as a result of a Parent Carer’s Needs Assessments (PCNA) – with statements…

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An unpaid carer’s life: a cri de cœur

The guest post you are about to read from a good colleague builds on an earlier posting which also concerns an incredibly troubling account of the health system’s approach to…

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The Health & Social Care Integration White Paper and Carers

John Bangs OBE and Luke Clements[1] . The Health and Care Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech is intended to provide the basis for closer health and social care integration…

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Carers and the Health and Care Bill

Reaction to the White Paper on NHS reform has been lukewarm with many key players pointing out that restructuring an endlessly restructured NHS will not in itself address its critical…

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NHS Ombudsman news and a Fast-track decision

The reports of the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman are now being published – click here to access the relevant page.  This is good news.  The Local Government and Social…

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