Widespread Support for the Reform of Adult Social Care

31 March 2011

Today the Law Commission is publishing an analysis of the responses to its consultation on reforming adult social care law. The Commission is reviewing all of the law that enables services to be provided to older people, disabled people and those with mental health problems.

The Commission has received 231 formal responses, as well as hearing directly from stakeholders at 72 specially staged events across England and Wales. The individuals and organisations who responded include disabled people, carers, lobby groups, local councils, social workers and the Government.

Frances Patterson QC, the Public Law Commissioner responsible for the review, said:

"We have been struck by the widespread positive support for our adult social care project, and the strength of agreement we are seeing that this area of law must be reformed as a matter of priority. Many people have been keen to tell us about the difficulties they are experiencing as a result of the complexities of the law, and how they have been confused by, or even completely unaware of, their basic legal entitlements."

The analysis shows overwhelming support for retaining a number of key legal rights in adult social care. There is also strong backing for maintaining duties to co-operate between social services and other agencies and for the proposal to introduce a duty to investigate in adult protection cases.

Frances Patterson QC commented that:

"We are indebted to everyone who has contributed to this consultation. In the light of what they have told us, we are looking again at our proposals, reinforcing some of our ideas and revising others. We are also reviewing our scheme as a whole to make sure it can accommodate policies such as personalisation, self-directed support, prevention and the universal services, while also maintaining the strong legal rights that were overwhelmingly supported by consultees.”

The Law Commission’s final report on adult social care is due to be published in May 2011. The Government will review our recommendations with a view to introducing new legislation in 2012.

The consultation ran from 24 February to 1 July 2010. The consultation paper, "Adult Social Care", and analysis of responses are available on the Law Commission website: www.lawcom.gov.uk

Notes for Editors

The Law Commission is a non-political independent body, set up by Parliament in 1965 to keep all the law of England and Wales under review, and to recommend reform where it is needed.

For more details, visit the adult social care project page on www.lawcom.gov.uk

For all press queries please contact:
Phil Hodgson, Head of Communications 020 3334 0230
Dan Leighton 020 3334 0231
Terry Cronin 020 3334 0255
Email: communications@lawcommission.gsi.gov.uk