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Community Care (Delayed Discharges etc.) Act 2003


Section 10: Adjustments between social services authorities

46.There may be cases where there are disputes about where a patient is ordinarily resident and therefore which social services authority is responsible for determining a patient’s needs under section 4, or making any payments in respect of that patient should his discharge be delayed. This section confers regulation-making powers in order to make provision for such cases. Subsection (1) provides that regulations may be made to deal with cases where it appears to the social services authority which has been given notice of a patient under section 2 that the patient is not in fact ordinarily resident in their area.

47.Subsection (2)(a) provides that those regulations may require a social services authority to accept a notice under section 2, even though they may dispute being the responsible authority. This is to ensure that one authority is always responsible for an individual and that the individual receives the services he needs as soon as possible, even where there is uncertainty as to which authority should bear responsibility. It may be that another authority is subsequently found to be responsible for the patient. In this case, regulations made under subsection (2)(b) may require the authority later found to be responsible to take over responsibility from the authority that was previously believed to have been responsible.

48.Under subsection (2)(c) regulations may be made to authorise the social services authority originally thought to have been the responsible authority for a patient to recover any expenditure from the authority finally found to be responsible. This could be expenditure incurred in determining the patient’s needs or providing any community care services to the patient for which they should not have been responsible.

Section 11: Regulations

49.This section provides for how the various regulations in Part 1 are to be made. Subsection (3) provides that mental health care (as prescribed by order) may not be one of the types of care used to define a qualifying hospital patient unless the relevant regulations have been approved by Parliament. All other regulations under Part 1 are subject to the negative procedure.

Section 13: Application of Local Authority Social Services Act 1970

50.Section 13 makes an amendment to the above Act, providing that the functions under Part 1 of this Act are social services functions. Under other provisions of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970, the Secretary of State is empowered to give guidance or directions to local authorities about the carrying out of their social services functions. This amendment allows the Secretary of State to give such guidance or directions on the carrying out of functions under Part 1 of this Act.

Section 14: Power to extend the application of Part 1 to NHS patients in care homes

51.Sections 1 to 13 of the Act concern hospital patients. The order-making power in section 14 allows similar provision to be made in respect of certain patients in care homes. To be a “qualifying care home patient”, a patient will have to be receiving care of a prescribed description. Subsection (4) limits this prescribed care to types of care prescribed under section 1 (i.e. care received in hospital).

52.The intention of this section is to ensure that, if the Act is extended to include patients receiving intermediate care, patients receiving intermediate care in a care home setting are within the scope of Part 1, as well as those receiving intermediate care in a hospital. An individual will not come within the scope of an order made under section 11 if they are receiving services which are only provided in a care home.

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