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Law Commission consultation reveals "overwhelming" support for key legal rights

The Law Commission’s consultation on reforming adult social care law found “overwhelming support” for the retention of key legal rights, the law advisory body has said.

Publishing a summary of the responses today, the Law Commission said there was also strong backing for maintaining duties to co-operate between social services and other agencies and for the proposal to introduce a duty to investigate in adult protection cases.

Frances Patterson QC, the Public Law Commissioner in charge of the review, said there was strong agreement that adult social care law should be reformed as a matter of priority.

“Many people have been keen to tell us about the difficulties they are experiencing as a result of the complexities of the law, and how they have been confused by, or even completely unaware of, their basic legal entitlements,” she said.

Patterson added that the Law Commission would review its scheme 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.”

The Law Commission is set to publish its final report in May 2011. The government will then review its recommendations with a view to introducing new legislation in 2012.

Overall the Commission received 231 formal responses, including submissions from 26 local authorities, the Local Government Association, the Law Society, and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. It also held 72 events across England and Wales.

The consultation paper and analysis of responses can be read here.

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