Judicial review result awaited over care home fees
CARE homes are awaiting the result of a judicial review into the way Devon County Council pays fees for 2012/13.
The three-day review was instigated by three care home operators belonging to the Devon Quality Care Forum, which represents more than 70 independent homes across Devon, including Teignbridge, and the South Hams.
The three were granted permission by the Administrative Court in Cardiff for a Judicial Review regarding the way the council determined fees to care providers during the 2012/13 year. Judge Jarman, QC is expected to hand down a written judgement to both parties and their legal teams at the end of the month.
It was the second judicial review involving DQCF members, following a court case in May, when a High Court judge granted relief to the claimants.
This was in the form of a declaration that the council had acted unlawfully by failing to consult properly with providers when making its decision to freeze care home fees for the second year in a row for 2011/12.
The claimants' grounds for review were that the council failed to consult lawfully; secondly, that the council failed to meet its Public Sector Equality Duty and properly consider how its actions would impact on vulnerable groups such as people with dementia; and thirdly, that the decision making process was not rational and that the decision regarding fees was based on inaccurate figures.
The third ground was allowed after an appeal by the claimants, following the initial decision to allow the judicial review on the first two grounds only.
Alan Beale, managing director of South West Care Homes Ltd, which operates Lake View, Newton Abbot and Beechmount, in Torquay, said: "Although we are pleased that the court has granted permission for a second judicial review, we are disappointed that a second court case is necessary."