A disabled people’s organisation (DPO) has intervened in a “hugely significant” court of appeal hearing that is set to decide how far the government’s Care Act protects disabled people’s independent living and well-being.
Inclusion London is the first DPO to intervene in a case involving the “flagship” Care Act 2014, while it will also be the first such case to be heard by the court of appeal.
To highlight the importance of the case, Inclusion London will hold a vigil outside the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday (17 August), from 9.15am, to show the three judges the impact the case will have on disabled people’s lives.
The case has been brought by Luke Davey, a disabled person with high support needs, whose support package was “slashed” after the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in June 2015.
He lost his high court case earlier this year, after seeking a judicial review of Oxfordshire County Council’s decision to cut his support from £1,651 to £950 a week from May last year.
The council had decided both to increase the number of hours Davey spent without the support of his personal assistants (PAs), and reduce the rates of pay of his PAs.
His lawyers are now arguing that the care plan drawn up by the council should be quashed, while it should draft a new plan that takes into account the risks its decision poses to Davey’s wellbeing.
They will argue that the council is breaching the Care Act by suggesting that he can rely on volunteers or unpaid family carers if he wants to go out for longer than three hours at a time.
And they will argue that the council should have seriously considered the risk to Davey’s wellbeing if his long-established team of PAs broke up.