COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT,
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION,
(HIS HONOUR JUDGE PEARL, SITTING AS A DEPUTY JUDGE)
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE LONGMORE
LORD JUSTICE PATTEN
| THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF SAVVA
|- and -
|ROYAL BOROUGH OF KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA
Ms Nathalie Lieven QC and Tom Cross (instructed by ) for the Respondent
Written submissions on behalf of Secretary of State for Health
Hearing date : 14 September 2010
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Maurice Kay :
"Where a local authority … are satisfied in the case of any [disabled] person … that it is necessary in order to meet the needs of that person for that authority to make arrangements for all or any of the following matters [a list of services is set out] … then … it shall be the duty of the authority to make those arrangements."
Statutory provision and guidance
"should be applied as a means of giving an approximate indication of what it may reasonably cost to meet a person's particular needs according to their individual circumstances. It is important for councils to ensure that their resource allocation process is sufficiently flexible to allow for someone's individual circumstances to be taken into account when determining the amount of resources he or she is allocated in a personal budget."
"I write further to the recent reassessment to advise you that your allocated budget for the purchase of support to maintain your independence and wellbeing is £170.45 per week.
This budget is the amount of money you, together with your social worker or support broker, are able to spend each week when planning and purchasing support. You may be required to contribute to the cost of your care, you will be given more information on how much this will be when the amount has been confirmed with the Financial Assessment Team.
The details of your support plan need to be agreed by the manager of the social work team that undertook your recent reassessment.
This allocation is subject to review at least annually or at any time that it is felt that your needs have changed. Please let us know if your needs change in order that we can ensure that you can receive the appropriate level of support.
I have also enclosed a copy of your Assessment and Care Plan and the original copy of your Supported Self-Assessment Questionnaire."
The Appeal: unlawful methodology
"The advantage of this approach is that it enables you to manage the budget and achieve a closer relationship between needs and money. This is because it allows a wider range of personal budgets, reflecting the range of needs, and allows budgets to match the distribution of needs. However, it is more complex as it does not provide a fixed price per point."
"The decision of the Panel does not constitute a discharge of their legal duty … the manner in which the [Council] used the RAS tool is impermissible and cannot be used as a starting point because it imposes an unlawful cap on the budget."
"As I understand [counsel's] submission, on behalf of the [Council], if the use of a non-linear RAS tool had been the sole basis for the decision, then there would at least be a persuasive argument. However, [counsel] submits that the RAS tool is not the sole basis for the decision but it is simply a starting point in the assessment process. I agree … the RAS has been championed by the Department of Health and certain local authorities have been encouraged to develop RAS as indicative tools in order to discharge their duty so as to meet all of the service users assessed needs. The [Council] has not taken the indicative budget and said that that is the final figure. Rather, it has used a relative and non-linear approach, which it considers provides, as a starting point, a better reflection of the way in which care needs and costs are distributed to all those service users across the authority … These are matters for the local authority. I agree … that the use of the RAS by the [Council] is not unlawful."
"The Learned Judge erred in deciding that the [Council] were entitled to rely upon a figure generated by their Resource Allocation System, based on [Mrs Savva's] need for community care services in relative terms, as the starting point for calculating how much money they would pay [her] for the purchase of community care services because section 2 of the 1970 Act and Regulation 14 of the 2009 Regulations requires an individual's eligible needs to be met in absolute terms."
The cross-appeal: reasons
Lord Justice Longmore:
Lord Justice Patten: