Adrian Waite of ‘AWICS’ wasasked to assist as an expert witness in support of the claimants in the case ofR v Isle of Wight Council. This paper summarises the case.
The Claimant’s challenge related to the Local Authorities consultation and decision to restrict eligibility for adult social care to those with ‘critical’ needs and those with ‘substantial needs that place people at greatest risk of not being able to remain at home and be safe’ with the intention of making savings from its Adult Social Care budget.
The Claimants contended that the consequence of this would be that the needs of the Claimants (in part) and other severely disabled people who fall within the ‘substantial’ eligibility band would no longer be met. The claimants were represented by Irwin Mitchell(solicitors) and Doughty Street Chambers (barristers).
While the case principally related to whether the Council had discharged its duty to consult adequately under the Disability Discrimination Act; it also related to whether the Council had been obliged to restrict eligibility because of the local government financial settlement or whether it chose to use its discretion to limit eligibility.
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