Disabled woman in High Court challenge over Government ‘failure’ to set up care appeal system

A disabled woman is embroiled in a High Court fight with the Department of Health and Social Care over a “failure” to set up an appeals system in relation to adult social care decisions.

The woman, who cares for a disabled son, has challenged a decision not to implement an appeals system.

Lawyers representing the Government have told a judge that her challenge should be dismissed.

Mr Justice Julian Knowles considered competing arguments at a High Court hearing in London on Tuesday.

The judge is expected to deliver a ruling in the near future.

He said the woman could not be identified in media reports of the case.

A barrister who led the woman’s legal team told the judge that in 2016 ministers had said an appeals system would take effect by April 2020 but in December 2021 a decision had been taken not to implement the system.

Shu Shin Luh explained how the woman’s care package had been “abruptly halved”, from 21 hours a week to 10.5, by a council three years ago.

She said the woman had complained but complaints had not been investigated.

“The claimant has only achieved partial resolution to her care dispute,” she said.

“The evidence from the claimant, and case studies from other disabled people, illustrates the inadequacy of existing remedies for resolving heavily fact-sensitive social care disputes.”

She said the woman challenged the “ongoing failure” to implement an appeals system.

Barrister Leon Glenister told Mr Justice Knowles, that ministers had to make choices.

“The Secretary of State had to make choices as to which areas could make the biggest difference immediately, within the available funding,” he said, in a written argument.

“As part of that decision, the Secretary of State determined that the implementation of an appeal process would not happen immediately.”

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