Adult Social Care 2017 LocalGovernmentLawyer 6 recommendations, and the accompanying draft Bill will be taken forward by the next government. (See page 16 for an explanation by Tim Spencer-Lane of the Law Commission on how the new system could work in practice, and page 12 for the roundtable discussion, where the proposals were discussed.) Dealing with the Care Act 2014 At the same time as dealing with the DoLS in the aftermath of Cheshire West, local authorities have had to prepare for and implement the Care Act 2014, legislation intended to consolidate and update the legal framework for care and support. We asked respondents which three aspects of the Act were most difficult to comply with, and place those in order. More than two-thirds (70%) pinpointed the duty to integrate the provision of care and support with the provision of health and health-related services. This was followed by the duty to promote and develop a market in services (49% putting it in their top three), the general duty to promote the well-being of an individual (36%) – one respondent said the well-being principle was so abstract that most social workers struggle with it, the requirement to produce personal budgets/transparency about local authority costs of care (26%), the ability for self-funders to ask local authorities to commission their care (21%) and the duty to commission preventative services (21%). β€œAll duties which require going over and above a basic level of service are difficult as there are no funds,” noted one respondent. Asked what the main legal risks facing councils in respect of compliance with the Care Act were, the lawyers named the threat of judicial review on decisions about needs for care and support (assessment of needs, eligibility decisions, etc.). This was placed in the top three legal risks by 69% of respondents. This was followed by the threat of judicial review of appeals on funding of care (personal budget figures, means testing etc.); and the threat of judicial review of a failure to fulfil general duties (wellbeing, preventative care, market development etc). More than half of respondents (53%) placed these two sources of legal risk in their top three. The next two most prominent legal risks relate to providers. The threat of a judicial review challenge over the rates offered to care providers came fourth, put in the top three by 49% of respondents. After a flurry of High Court cases three or four years ago, this reared its head again with news in April this year that care home operators in Essex were to take the county council to judicial review. In many cases, however, what we have seen in practice is providers hand back contracts or refuse to provide services at the rates offered, leaving councils in some cases scrabbling around for replacement arrangements. The next most significant legal risk was the possibility of procurement or competition challenges. Although only put in the top three by 41% of respondents, one in four put it as their number one legal risk – a reflection perhaps of the considerable cost and inconvenience generated when this type of claim arises. Fig 2