Disabled man loses care cost appeal

 

Judges at the UK's highest court have dismissed a profoundly disabled man's appeal over his care package.

Lawyers representing 26-year-old KM, who was born without eyes and has a range of serious mental and physical conditions, said the case raised "profound issues" for disabled people dependent on local authority support.

They told the Supreme Court that Cambridgeshire County Council made an "irrational" decision when funding his care.

They said the council's offer of around £85,000 a year was "manifestly insufficient" to meet the man's "assessed eligible needs" - and told seven justices that an independent social worker put the cost of an annual support package at £157,000.

But today the judges unanimously rejected the case that the June 2010 decision was unlawful because it was irrational.

In his lead ruling, Lord Wilson said KM's lawyers had failed to make out that "the offer did not reflect a rational computation of the cost of meeting the appellant's eligible needs".

Initially, the judges were asked to reconsider a previous decision of the House of Lords on the extent to which the resources of a local authority may be taken into account in making decisions under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.

But it later became clear that the issue did not arise on the facts in the case of KM, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, since Cambridgeshire did not rely on resource constraints to justify its decision.

Lord Wilson said that, although KM also had spinal disease, lung and hearing problems, and an autistic spectrum disorder, he was intelligent and articulate.

He could type and use Braille, and had obtained GCSEs in French and music.

"He spends substantial periods in his music room playing the piano, the clarinet and the drums.

"He is keen on jazz and composes his own rhythm and blues music. When in 2006 a Welsh social worker visited him, he went to the piano, played the Welsh national anthem and sang it correctly in Welsh. That is remarkable."

But KM needed substantial support in feeding and self-care and in many other aspects of daily living.

In their ruling, the judges said that to determine the appropriate direct payment to enable KM to arrange his own support, Cambridgeshire applied its "resource allocation system" (RAS) which calculated the payment due based on the average funding for people with specific needs in the local authority area, with additional sums calculated in severe cases by reference to an "upper banding calculator" (UBC).

Cambridgeshire did not expressly contest the independent £157,000 assessment, and classified KM's needs as being critical, but disputed the proposed required level of funding.

The figure of £85,000 reflected the maximum £61,000 calculated by reference to the RAS and an additional amount by reference to the UBC.

The judges said it was entirely rational for Cambridgeshire to use its RAS and UBC, and it appeared that any flaw in the computation was likely to have been in KM's favour.

Cambridgeshire should have made a more detailed presentation of its assessment of the reasonable cost of the necessary services in KM's case.

But, in the light of the subsequent amplification of its reasoning during the litigation, it would be a pointless exercise of discretion to quash the decision so that his entitlement might be considered again, perhaps even to his disadvantage.

PA

News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Sport
England's Andy Sullivan poses with his trophy and an astronaut after winning a trip to space
sport
News
peopleThe actress has agreed to host the Met Gala Ball - but not until 2015
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Teaching Assistant for KS1 & KS2 Huddersfield

£50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and i...

Teaching Assistant for KS1 & KS2 Huddersfield

£50 - £65 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and...

Primary Teaching Supply

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories