Former ILF User Takes Council To Court Over Care Cuts
A severely disabled man who needs 24-hour care has been given permission to bring a legal challenge Oxfordshire County Council’s decision to reduce his care package in the High Court.
The care package was previously joint funded by the Council and the Independent Living Fund (ILF) but when the ILF was closed by the government in June 2015 the responsibility and funding was transferred to the local authorities, in this case Oxfordshire County Council.
Luke Davey, 39, is quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy, disabilities caused due to a virus he contracted as a child, which means he has significant needs for care and support which are the responsibility of Oxfordshire County Council under the Care Act 2014.
Luke lives in his own adapted home and is supported by a team of carers to live independently.
Despite an assessment in April 2015 stating he needs 24-hours care a day and a stable care package for over 20 years the council took steps to reduce Luke’s funding over the past 12 months down to 17.5 hours which his family, and an independent report said would have a negative effect on his wellbeing.
DR UK’s legal partners, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, challenged the decision in the High Court stating that the Council is in breach of the Care Act in not making sufficient payments to meet Luke’s care needs.
The High Court has granted permission for Mr Davey to bring a Judicial Review of the reductions to Luke’s care plan.
Irwin Mitchell has also secured an interim court order for Luke at the recent court hearing meaning that the Council needs to continue paying for the full cost of his current care package until the final hearing which is expected to take place later this year.
At first the council continued to fund the care package but then later decided to reduce the care that would be funded to only 17.5 hours of care per day, leaving Luke by himself for 6 hours during the day.
However, an independent occupational therapist was critical of the decisions to reduce his funding and said it would give rise to significant risks to Luke’s wellbeing and independence.
A further argument in the case is that a reduction in the rates of pay for skilled carers and assistants would be unreasonable and unlawful.
A judicial review hearing will be heard in the High Court later this year.