This chapter examines the delivery of community care services. It discusses services for mentally disordered persons; the entitlement, nature, and scope of the duties owed under the National Health Service and Community Care Act (NHSCCA 1990); alternative mechanisms for securing services; and the use of personal budgets and direct payments. The chapter argues that most of the time, local social service authorities and National Health Service bodies do cooperate reasonably well in the delivery of community care services, particularly for service users with learning disabilities. The draft the Care and Support Bill holds the potential to radically simplify the legal framework in which community care services are delivered, making the system more transparent and intelligible to both users and professionals. The increased use of personal budgets and direct payments could empower service users in a way that has not been possible in the past.
This chapter sets out the basic aims, themes, and structure of this book which are to provide an introductory account of the English legal system, to note how it has developed in recent years, and to consider how it may develop in future. Part II raises fundamental issues about the social functions of law and the legitimacy of law; and considers the institutional framework within which law is made. Part III looks at the different contexts in which law is developed and practised. Part IV looks at the provision and funding of legal services. Finally, Part V offers reflexions on a system in flux.