New Clause 28 - Part 1 appeals

Part of Care Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 4 February 2014.

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Photo of Liz Kendall Liz Kendall Shadow Minister (Health) (Care and Older People) 9:45, 4 February 2014

The new clause is extremely important. As hon. Members know, Opposition members of the Committee have been pressing for an appeals process. New clause 28 very much echoes new clause 8, which was previously tabled by me and my hon. Friend the Member for Copeland. I thought that the Government would inevitably have to institute a proper appeals process, so we welcome the fact that, following representations from hon. Members, the Government have listened and taken action.

There has been concern that under the new system, with more people being assessed, with a new type of assessment regime, with the complicated system of the new cap on care costs, and with people questioning what they are paid and how far they have gone to meet the cap, more people would raise concerns and make appeals. So it is absolutely right that the Government have tabled the new clause. We do not want to end up resorting to judicial review. We want a proper process of appeal for this new—in some ways simpler; in some ways, certainly on the finance side, more complicated—system of assessment. We need to make sure that the appeals process will be carried out by people who are properly qualified to deal with disputes about care packages and finance. A system with people clocking up amounts towards the cap is quite new. We will need a proper system in place and people with the right skills. I hope that when the regulations are introduced, Ministers will bear in mind the range of skills that people will need to carry out an appeals process.

I am sure I am not the only hon. Member who has seen appeals procedures often being conducted with a tick-box approach that makes people feel dissatisfied,  so it is worth getting the process right from the start. I hope that the Minister will ensure all the issues are properly looked at in regulations.