Sonal has led the charge – taking cases to courts across the Midlands, challenging local authority decisions affecting vulnerable adults, often at extremely short notice. Cases have included disputes about wherean adult with support needs should live, the extent and type of care packages clients receive and ultimately whether local authorities are fulfilling their legal duties under the Care Act.
Like all disputes involving care, cases are emotionally charged. Clients are understandably distraught at the thought of having to move to a
different care home, or having to change care provider for care services at home. It is more than a ‘change of provider’. Care workers and fellow residents may be the only friends and regular contact that someone has. Plans to move clients to cheaper services disregards the time that existing providers have spent getting to know their clients and understand their needs – something that can be difficult and requires trust on both sides.
Sonal has been fearless in tackling these issues, keeping a level head when facing hostility from local authority representatives and ensuring that the vulnerable person’s needs are the focus, rather than local authority budgetary concerns.
Rarely do matters go straight to court – we make every effort to work with local authorities to encourage them to comply with their legal duties and there will have been detailed discussions with them before taking the decision to issue proceedings. However, the current reality is that local authority responses are (more often than not) subject to delay and an unwillingness to compromise and that the immediate pressures facing clients means that sometimes court is the only option.
To find out more about our Legal Aid Contract and what it includes, click HERE