Court upholds policy limiting home care spending

Sun,11 August 2013

The High Court has rejected a legal challenge to Worcestershire Council's "maximum expenditure policy" which, when introduced, will limit how much is spent on supporting a disabled adult in the community to that for equivalent provision in residential care

The case was brought by D, a disabled teenager, following concerns that the Council had failed to make clear the true consequences of the policy during its public consultation.

It was felt that D, and other disabled people in Worcestershire, may be forced to make a choice between an inadequate care package at home or residential care. The Judge did not accept this argument.

The challenge was not against the lawfulness of the policy itself because so far it has not yet been applied to anyone, which may mean that there will be other legal challenges following its introduction.

Although the Judge dismissed the claim, he gave clear guidance to the Council on how they should implement the policy in future, warning:

“ exercising its discretion as to whether to allow greater costs than the residential equivalent, the Council will be required to take into account its own policy objectives of giving disabled individuals control and choice over their care support, encouraging disabled individuals to live independently in the community, and having less not more individuals in residential care. 

“It will also be required to take into account its assurances during the consultation period – and in the course of this claim – that no individual will be forced into living in residential care, as a result of this policy alone.”

Irwin Mitchell have stated that:

“We will be watching carefully over the coming months as to how the Council is implementing this policy to ensure that their assurances given during the course of this case are adhered to. We would urge any individuals who do find themselves affected by this policy to come forward and take legal advice as soon as possible.”

To find out more go to the Irwin Mitchell website at

You can view the judgement (D, R (On the Application Of) v Worcestershire County Council [2013] EWHC 2490 (Admin) (09 August 2013) at