Inclusion London’s Response to the EHRC Inquiry into Challenging Decisions About Adult Social Care

Read our response to the EHRC Inquiry into Challenging Decisions About Adult Social Care

In September the EHRC launched their inquiry into challenging adult social care decisions. This looked into how older and disabled adults and unpaid carers can challenge local council decisions about social care and support in England and Wales.

Inclusion London submitted a response, based on previous research we have conducted into social care in London. We also held two focus groups with the EHRC, inviting Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations across London to feed into their inquiry.

Key Points

  • Social care service users struggle to access advice and information services to know their rights regarding their support, and their local authorities policies and practises on different aspects of social care.
  • Most service users do not use the local authority website to access information and advice about their social care, instead they approached family and friends, user-led organisations or charities for support.
  • The lack of appropriate advice and information has a direct impact on their ability to challenge decisions, and more broadly on their ability to exercise choice and control and live independently.
  • Often the people who are most able to challenge decisions about their social care are those that have professionally gained knowledge of the Care Act, and can rely on their experience of self-advocacy.
  • Local authority complaints processes are lacking in transparency and due process, and service users do not have confidence in them as a means of challenging decisions.
  • There is no appeals process despite what was initially anticipated and included in the Care Act to challenge assessment and review decisions, meaning that service users must go to court if their complaints to the local authority and ombudsman are unsuccessful.

Key Recommendations

  • Local authorities must ensure that their policies, and where they are located on websites, are fully up to date and accessible to service users.
  • Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations must be funded to provide information, advice and advocacy to adult social care service users.
  • The government needs to urgently enact the appeals system as was anticipated in the Care Act and ensure it allows social care users to challenge decisions to an independent, impartial body with accessible and user friendly processes.
  • Local authority complaints processes must be overhauled and subject to external scrutiny to ensure that due process is followed and service users can have trust in them.

Download the full text of Inclusion London’s response in word document format on this link: 
Inclusion London’s Response to the EHRC Inquiry into Challenging Decisions About Adult Social Care