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Lib-Dems, Liberal Democrat Political Party Government's plans for modernisation Lib-Dems, Liberal Democrat Political Party

Our White Paper, Modernising Social Services, sets out our plans for making these changes. They include: Lib-Dems, Liberal Democrat Political Party

Better support for adults. Care will be designed to help people to live in their own homes and have independent lives. The direct payments scheme will mean that if you need care, you can get money instead of services, to spend on your own choice of care staff. And there will be better and fairer systems for deciding who should get help, what type of care services are available, and how they are charged for. Lib-Dems, Liberal Democrat Political Party

New checks to make sure that local councils are actually delivering the quality of services that they should. Councils will have to meet standards for quality and efficiency in what they do for local people, and if standards are not met, the Government can take action to make sure things improve. Annual reports will show how every council is performing against the Government's standards and targets. Lib-Dems, Liberal Democrat Political Party

2.4 Social services need direction if they are to serve adults better. In particular, they need to: Lib-Dems, Liberal Democrat Political Party
Seek to promote people's independence while treating them with dignity and respect at all times, and protecting their safety.
provide services more consistently across the country. Lib-Dems, Liberal Democrat Political Party
Make the system more centred on service users and their families, and as convenient and straightforward as possible for people to use. 'social services need direction if they are to serve adults better'

Useful snippets from Dept Health on Community Care.

Helping you to stay independent. (Dept of health)
A guide to long-term care services and benefits for people who live at home. Local councils are now required to publish joint local charters for long term care, called 'Better Care, Higher Standards'.

Community Care. Any services you receive should promote your independence and quality of life and should be:
• flexible - provided at times which suit you and can be changed when your needs change
• consistent - as few care workers involved as possible, with continuity over time as far as possible
• secure over time - to help you plan for the future
• seamless - with well co-ordinated care provided by different agencies
• suitable to your lifestyle, disrupting this as little as possible
• respectful of your cultural heritage and racial identity, including your religious beliefs and customs
• sufficient to avoid any unnecessary stress or deterioration in your health.

Council - Complaints against. Contact your Local Government Ombudsman for your area.
You can get more information from the leaflet "Complaint about the Council? How to complain to your Local Government Ombudsman ". Ask your local council for a copy.

Fairer Charging Policies. Nothing in this guidance requires councils to make existing charging policies, which go beyond the requirements, less generous to users than they are currently.

Social Inspectorate Findings. Councils have a responsibility under Part III of the Children Act to provide services to children in need and their families.


The Disability Discrimination Act1996, brings in new laws and measures aimed at ending the discrimination which many disabled people face.

Part lll - Discrimination in Other Areas
From 2 December 1996 it is unlawful to refuse to serve a disabled person, provide a lower standard of service, or provide a service on less favourable terms because of their disability.

The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970
When a person is assessed as being permanently and substantially disabled the Local Authority will make a decision as to the services the person requires under The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act. The Local Authority have a duty to arrange these services if they consider a disabled person needs them. There are a variety of services.

Practical help in the home, e.g. a home help.
A radio and/or T.V. and help in using the local Library or similar recreational facilities.
Provision of lectures, games, outings or other recreational facilities outside the home or assistance to that person in taking advantage of educational facilities available.
Help with travelling to any of these or similar activities.
Any adaptations such as a ramp or lift or special equipment needed in the home for the greater safety, comfort or convenience of the disabled person.
Meals in the home or at a local centre.
A telephone and any special equipment needed to use it.

National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990
People are eligible for a Community Care Assessment if they or the person they care for has
A physical disability
A disabling illness
A terminal illness
A sensory impairment
Learning disability
Mental health problems including dementia, drug or alcohol problems, HIV or AIDS.

The general principles of Assessment and Care Management should
Enable people to live as normal a life in their own home or in a homely environment in the local Community.
Provide the right amount of care and support to help people achieve maximum possible independence and by acquiring or re-acquiring basic living skills help them to achieve their full potential.
Give people a greater say in how they live their lives and the services they need to help them do so.
Promote partnership between users, carers and service providers in all sectors.
Ensure that the resources available are used in the most effective way to meet individual care needs.

The Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation ) Act 1986
This Act reinforces the duty upon Local Authorities to assess on request the needs of disabled people. It also states that Local Authorities must take account of the Carers ability to continue providing care.

Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995
A Carer is someone who provides regular and/or substantial care to a relative, neighbour or friend. Where a person is eligible for a Community Care Assessment, their carer has the right to request an assessment of their own needs as a Carer. The Carers Act requires the Local Authority to have regard to the result of the Carers Assessments when making decisions about services to be provided to the user.
The aim of this Act is to give greater recognition to the needs of Carers.

Section 113 Default powers of the appropriate Minister
276. Subsection (1) confers default powers on the Secretary of State in respect of the Commission and the General Social Care Council (GSCC). Subsection (2) makes similar provision for default powers for the National Assembly for Wales in respect of the Care Council for Wales (CCW). If the appropriate Minister is satisfied that the Commission or the GSCC or the CCW has failed to discharge any of its functions, without good reason, or in discharging its functions has failed to comply with any directions or guidance given to it, this section confers a two-fold default power.

277. Subsection (3) details the first stage: the appropriate Minister may make an order declaring the Commission or Council to be in default and issue directions requiring them to take specific action within a specific timescale. If the Commission or Council fail to comply with the directions, the second stage (subsection (4)) is triggered. This results in the appropriate Minister either carrying out the functions himself or nominating a person or organisation to discharge these functions on his behalf.

Useful Contacts

John Hutton MP, Minister of State for Health
Listing of social laws.

Ombudsmen - complaints about local authorities
Mr E B C Osmotherly CB
Local Government Ombudsman
21 Queen Anne's Gate
London SW1H 9BU
Tel: 0207 915 3210
Fax: 0207 233 0396
Mr J R White
Local Government Ombudsman
The Oaks No 2
Westwood Way
Westwood Business Park
Coventry CV4 8JB
Tel: 01203 695999
Fax: 01203 695902
Parliamentary Ombudsman
Church House
Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3BW
Tel: 0207 276 2130
Regional Director
4th Floor
Millbank Tower
London SWlP 4QP
Tel: 0207 233 6400
Fax: 0207 233 6490
Audit Commission Headquarters:
1 Vincent Square
London SWlP 2PN
Tel: 020 7828 1212
Fax: 020 7630 0182


The Rt. Hon Tony Blair, MP The Prime Minister. 10 Downing Street .London. SW1A 2AA

The Rt. Hon Gordon Brown, M.P Chancellor of the Exchequer. H.M. Treasury. Treasury Chambers. Parliament Street. London. SW1P 3AG
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SECURITY. Richmond House. 79 Whitehall. London. SW1A 2NS

The Rt. Hon. Alistair Darling MP. The Secretary of State. Richmond House. 79 Whitehall. London. SW1A 2NS
Hugh Bayley Esq. M.P. Parliamentary Secretary of State (responsible for the ILF). Richmond House. 79 Whitehall. London SW1A 2NS

The Rt. Hon. The Baroness Hollis of Heigham. Parliamentary Secretary of State. House of Lords. London. SW1A OPW
DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT. Mrs. Margaret Hodge, MBE, MP.Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State. Department for Education and Employment (Employment and Equal Opportunities). Caxton House. Tothill Street. London. SW1H 9NA

The Baroness Blackstone. Minister of State (Minister for Education and Employment). House of Lords. London. SW1A OPW
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. John Hutton Esq. MPMinister of State. Richmond House. 79 Whitehall. London. SW1A 2NS (Responsible for long term care and therefore the guidance on charging by local authorities)

SHADOW CABINET. Dr. Liam Fox MP. Shadow Minister of State for Social Care

The Earl Howe. The Lord McColl of DulwichShadow Lords Spokespersons (Conservative). House of Lords. London. SW1A OPW
SHADOW CABINET. Lord Clement-Jones. Shadow Lords Spokesperson (Liberal Democrat). House of Lords. London SW1A OPW

ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY DISABLEMENT GROUP The Rt. Hon Lord Ashley of Stoke CH (Jack Ashley). Chair: All Party Parliamentary Disablement Group (Lords). House of Lords
John Hayes MP. Chair: All Party Parliamentary Disablement Group (Commons). House of Commons. London. SW1A OAA

Rt. Hon. Dafydd Wigley MP : Vice Chair. House of Commons. London. SW1A OAA
Rev. Martin Smyth: Vice Chair. House of Commons. SW1A OAA

Paul Burstow MP: Vice Chair. House of Commons. Lib Dem Shadow Spokesperson for Health
Dr. Roger Berry M.P.Secretary,All Party Parliamentary Disablement GroupHouse of Commons
The Rt. Hon Lord Morris of Manchester (Alf Morris).House of Lords.

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