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Safe as houses: SL v Westminster County Council

The Court of Appeal’s judgment in SL v Westminster County ?Council clarifies duties owed by social services, says Victoria Pogge ?von Strandmann

29 August 2012

The Court of Appeal has clarified the circumstances in which ?social services departments owe a duty to provide accommodation and support to adults who are in need of care and attention.

Under section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948 (‘the Act’), local authorities owe a duty to make arrangements for providing residential accommodation to adults who are in need of care and attention (by reason of age, illness, disability or any other circumstance) which is not otherwise available to them.

This duty arises, for example, when an elderly or frail individual can no longer remain in his or her own home and needs to be accommodated in a care home. It also arises for those individuals in need of care and attention who do not have accommodation otherwise available to them. This would include those excluded from the Housing Act 1996 (due to, for example, lack of priority need and/or intentional ho...

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