CASCAIDr legal advice during the Coronavirus Crisis

CASCAIDr – the All Adults’ care and health specialist legal advice charity – is going into a different mode for the duration of the Coronavirus crisis.

(Just note during the Covid19 crisis the Ombudsman is closed but once it’s over as out article from Belinda in this current issue says this is a good route after complaints – can be viewed for a temporary period in the current issue)

Small advice charities will become insolvent very quickly, it is feared, without financial assistance.

In all honesty, we can’t hope to cope with NEW individual clients’ legal issues in an effective way. Once the Care Act duties have been suspended and downgraded into powers only (apart from where NOT meeting the needs would amount to a breach of human rights, where it is then still a duty), we will have no legal weaponry with which to fight arbitrariness or blinkeredness, however understandable it may be that these could occur. Rubber bullets instead of ballistic missiles, is how we see the prospect.

  • We will still offer a legal steer for free, to anyone making a referral on our online referral form here – for as long as we can – ie concise analysis for sending on to any law firm when seeking advice elsewhere, or flagging up the issue for a council’s own Safeguarding lead and Head of Service.
  • We will refer people who need ongoing legal work to legal aid law firms with Human Rights credentials and capacity to take work on, in compelling cases. We can’t match what a regulated law firm can achieve, in an emergency, and it’s not ethically rightfor us to charge even our low hourly rate for wasting precious time in trying.
  • This is going to be our main output for a while: we’re going to provide free template letters online, for the following groups of people to use in their own names – but in the fervent hope of donations, however small, with Gift Aid ticked wherever possible, via

The letters will need to be adjusted, to suit one’s individual circumstances, but are intended for the following:

  • New candidates for a care package, being screened out or left unfeasibly long or told that assessment is not being done unless they would be eligible
  • Current service users facing apparently arbitrary cuts to existing care plans, or any cuts, implemented without some genuine involvement of the adult and any carer first
  • Anyone being offered services or a budget that is inconceivably inadequate or inappropriate in nature
  • Informal carers being manipulated or forced into doing more than they feasibly feel able to
  • Relatives of anyone facing being placed in an obviously unsuitable care home 
  • Providers facing unilateral cuts to their fees or refusals to review clients when evidencing increased client needs

If you can think of others that are needed, we will do it! Email ideas to please!

  • We can also provide expert advocacy under s27(2) and s27(3) for anyone who needs it before a revision of a current care plan. We will necessarily have to charge a low hourly rate for that work, but it can be done over the phone or by way of Zoom (online video conferencing software, for which you need only a link and a smart phone or a tablet). Email if you need to arrange some of that kind of support.
  • In the background, we’re continuing to add to our categorised stock of curated LGSCO reports here – in which our expert writing team explains the legal principles driving the LGSCO’s findings of fault. These matter even if the Care Act duties are suspended – because they are often PUBLIC law and Human Rights based and relevant to the exercise of
  • Finally, we’re running a page for members of the public to use for reporting GOOD practice and policies as they emerge from Councils and Care Trusts – you can find out about that, here.

Please note that our Trading Company will also be offering top-notch training by webinar/webinar recordings – to councils’ and Care Trusts’ staff. All net income goes to support the charity, of course.

The training content covers how to do what they now must do, as lawfully as possible, with regard to probably the most difficult conversations – and decision-making – that those practitioners and managers have ever had to face … So if you’re a front line worker, a team manager or a senior manager and want that to be available, please mention it to your Head of Service now. The offer will be with all Directors and Principal Social Workers in the next day or so, and available next week, if we can possibly manage it.

We will do all of this in the hope of donations, however small. DONATE via

We ask that if you know of any philanthropists interested in social justice, please pass this on to him or her, with a word of approval of our aims and output.