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Care Act 2014 Statutory Guidance Updates

Following the Supreme Court judgment in July in the case of R (on the application of Cornwall Council) v Secretary of State for Health, the Department of Health has reviewed and updated the Statutory Guidance.

The updates (which can be found in paragraphs 19.17 to 19.43 ) set out changes in the approach following the judgment regarding:

• Determining ordinary residence
• Disputes between councils in relation to adults who lack capacity to decide where to live

The Cornwall case considered which of three authorities, Wiltshire, Cornwall or South Gloucestershire should be responsible for the £80,000 annual costs of PH’s care in a Somerset care home.  PH himself lacks mental capacity to decide where he should live.

The Supreme Court rejected the health secretary’s determination of ordinary residence and overturned the earlier decision by the Court of Appeal to determine that Wiltshire was and is the Local Authority that PH is “ordinarily resident” in. This case could have far reaching implications for Councils regarding their long term funding commitments, as they may be responsible for long term care costs for many years after a resident has moved out of the area.  The judgment noted that this may give continuity of care planning for individuals but it remains to be seen whether this will also trigger shifts between authorities in line with the new guidance that could be disruptive for the residents that are affected.

For further information on Care Act 2014 updates, please see our next Newsletter.  If you would like to sign up to receive it, please click here.

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