IMCA involvement in accommodation decisions and care reviews

Local authority care assessments and care plans

Section 47 of the NHS and Community Care Act 1990 imposes a duty on local authorities to carry out an assessment of need for community care services with people who appear to them to need such services. It would be unlawful for an accommodation decision (aside for urgent decisions) to be made before such an assessment has been completed. Local authority care plans record how the person's eligible needs will be met. A care plan should be completed before a final decision is made about a person's accommodation, otherwise the person could be facing a move without a clear understanding about whether and how their needs will be met. Once support is identified in the care plan there is a legal requirement for this to be provided. It cannot be withdrawn without a reassessment.

IMCAs should access and scrutinise both the assessment and care plan prior to submitting a final report for both accommodation and care reviews.

IMCAs may make representations with regard to the content of both the assessment and care plan to ensure the person's needs and wishes are appropriately addressed. Similarly, the person drawing up these documents may request the IMCA's input.

It is very important that IMCAs pay close attention to these documents for the following reasons: