Listening the other day to the Good Morning programme on BBC Radio 4, my ears were drawn to an item on the work being done in England by the Law Commission on Adult Care. The work is being led by Ms Frances Patterson QC, who I had come across in various planning appeals I’d been involved with in the past but hadn’t realised that she had been appointed to the Commission. The important thing in this context was that those in the discussion were stating many of the current issues in Adult Care dated back to the Poor Law Code, or the more recent reforms of 1948, when health and social services were torn asunder – something I related to strongly in my academic research, as being a reason for the failure of e-government.
The hopeful thing is that Ms Patterson is quoted in Local Government Lawyer as stating that the Law Commission would review the service as a whole to make sure it could “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.” This is excellent news, since I have long held the view that the major hindrance to improving services are the fundamental structural, process and legal divides inherited from past political divisions.
Another review of the hoped-for changes is on Egov Monitor.