Best interests and mental capacity
Nicholas Endean | 04.05.2018
04.01.2018 Nicholas Endean
The Disabled Children’s Partnership has started the New Year with the launch of the ‘Secret Life of Us’ Campaign (“Campaign”).
Access to good quality health and social care services is impeded by a number of factors:
The legal framework which governs provision for disabled children and their families is complex and difficult to navigate. It is not a surprise that the majority of families we assist at Moore Blatch are simply unaware of statutory funding and support available. The complexity associated with the assessment and appeals process which governs funding sources such as NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS funded care) is continually increasing as Clinical Commissioning Groups continue to wrongly apply the rules which govern the process and wrongly conclude children are not eligible.
Families we support report that they were provided with extremely basic and limited assistance from the responsible Local Authority and/or Clinical Commissioning Group or were wrongly advised that they were not eligible for support despite the existence of a legal entitlement. Many disabled children and their families are simply not offered any support at all, and without a detailed knowledge of the complex legislative framework they are left powerless.
In the context of the above, the UK faces an increasingly unpredictable economy. As a nation, we continue to deal with the fallout from the economic crisis of 2007-2009. Barriers to the improvement of access to health and social care services for disabled children and their families include Brexit, the Government’s deficit reduction plan, and an NHS funding crisis.
All we can hope is that the Campaign leads to a greater public awareness of the challenges faced by disabled children and their families, a government realisation of the need to make drastic changes to the health and social care system to make the system efficient and ensure we provide disabled children and their families with the support required to improve lives. In turn, we hope this Campaign will raise awareness of the rights of disabled children and their families. In the face of increasing cuts to budgets, knowledge will increasingly become a more and more powerful mechanism to secure the provision disabled children and their families are entitled to.
 The Disabled Children’s Partnership is a coalition of more than 50 charities and organisations which have joined forces with families to launch the ‘Secret Life of Us’ campaign. More information on the Campaign can be found on the following website: https://disabledchildrenspartnership.org.uk/secret-life-of-us/
 The plan proposes the Government must: 1) Make disabled children a priority; 2) Review current funding; 3) Clarify existing rights; 4) Create a fund; and 5) Change the system.
 It is estimated that Local Government funding has already been cut by 40% since 2010.
 Brexit necessitates significant attention from the Government
 Which includes a plan to reduce public sector borrowing significantly
 A big topic of current debate in the news: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/19/nhs-impossible-budget-crisis-health-trusts