Some examples of people we have helped.
Homeless and Disabled
Mr X attended an appointment at the Law Centre seeking advice on homelessness. He was homeless and destitute at the time of the appointment. Mr X’s first language was Kurdish and he was 20 years old. On taking instructions from Mr X the housing advisor concluded that housing advice was inappropriate in the circumstances as Mr X had no recourse to public funds and therefore could not access housing via the normal housing route, though due to his disabilities, support might be obtained for him with the use of Community Care legislation.
He was seen immediately by a Community Care Solicitor who obtained the following information from him:
- He was a looked after child and now a former relevant child under the leaving care provisions who was asked to leave his accommodation, at aged 20, due to his immigration claim being refused. No consideration had been given to the leaving care legislation when the relevant authority made that decision
- Mr X has two serious disabilities, Tarsal Tunnell Syndrome and Post Polio Fatigue Syndrome, both of which cause mobility issues, fatigue, pain and have profound effects upon his life
- No s47 Community Care assessment has ever been carried out in respect of Mr X’s disability related needs
An urgent referral was made to the Local Authority for an assessment under s47 NHSCCA 1990 and to request consideration be given under s47(5), which gives Local Authorities the power to provide urgent services pending the outcome of an assessment, whilst a proper assessment be carried out.
Mr X was assessed the next day in the presence of a member of the Law Centre who then received correspondence stating that he has no care needs with the consequence that support would not be provided. This outcome did not tally with the information given to the Local Authority in relation to Mr X’s care needs. No substantive reasons were given for the outcome of the assessment and despite requests for a copy of the assessment or, in the absence of the same, detailed reasons as to how that decision had been reached, nothing was received.
Emergency legal aid was granted and an application was made to the High Court via telephone hearing to request that the Local Authority provide interim accommodation to Mr X. An injunction was granted. The matter was then considered fully by the High Court on the papers 3 days later and a further order was made consistent with that of the emergency order. The matter has now concluded and Mr X is appropriately supported by family members.
Supported to Stay in Own Home
Mrs A is an elderly lady who was referred to the Law Centre by Age UK with whom we have strong links. They were contacted by a family member who was concerned for her safety when accessing the upstairs of her property and her bathroom facilities. They had previously approached the Local Authority Social Services department only to be told, after a brief telephone conversation, that Mrs A had no care needs.
Mrs A was reluctant to accept advice or assistance in the first instance and it was agreed that we would provide a letter of advice explaining her entitlements to services and, further contact from us, led to a level of trust being established.
We referred Mrs A for assessment and following some negotiation and threat of legal proceedings Mrs A was provided with some minor adaptations and equipment enabling her to remain independent in her home.
Mrs A’s case was then closed.
Mrs A’s husband and son, who both lived with her, died suddenly and in short succession in the early part of 2011. She then lived on her own. Her health deteriorated and she began falling more frequently. She contacted the Law Centre again stating that she required further assistance at home but she did not know what could be provided. At this time she had not contacted Social Services.
We made a referral to Occupational Therapy for an assessment of her house for a higher level of adaptation. The initial reaction was that no services were necessary other than the provision of a commode for downstairs use. No consideration was given to the fact that Mrs A could not empty the same, the bathroom being upstairs, and that it did not negate the risks to her in climbing the stairs to get to a bathroom or bedroom.
During the assessment process Mrs A fell and was ambulanced to hospital for treatment where she remained as an in-patient for over a week. A proper assessment was then carried out with the outcome that Mrs A has now been provided with a stair lift, further rails at the front and back doors, rails around the property and equipment being provided for the bathroom and kitchen.
Mrs A has been enabled to remain in her home.