Notes The Care Act requires that local authorities involve people in decisions made about them and their care and support or where there is to be a safeguarding enquiry or safeguarding adults review. People should be active partners in the key care and support processes of assessment, care and support planning and review, and any enquiries in relation to abuse or neglect. ‘Involvement’ requires the local authority helping people to understand how they can be involved, how they can contribute and take part and sometimes lead or direct the process. The ultimate aim is for people’s wishes, feelings and needs to be at the heart of these processes.
Some people may have difficulty in being involved in these processes. The decision pathway in this slide shows two ways in which an individual could be supported if you thought that they might have difficulty being involved.
Firstly, it is important to establish if and how the person could be better supported by making changes to the arrangements. For example, by providing information in an accessible format and involving an appropriately trained and registered interpreter if the person needs one e.g. if they are a sign language user or don’t have enough English to be involved without an interpreter. Note that local authorities have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of people with particular accessibility requirements. Such adjustments should be made before the individual’s ability to be involved in the process is reviewed again.
However, some people still won’t be able to be involved, even if the process has been adapted to meet their communications needs, because they still have ‘substantial difficulty’ in being involved. We will look at what ‘substantial difficulty’ means in more detail in the next slide.
Local authorities have a duty to involve people, so if someone has substantial difficulty being involved they must be supported to be involved as fully as possible by either:
ensuring that there is an ‘appropriate person’ such as a friend or relative who can facilitate their involvement; or