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Independent Advice, Support and Mediation Service (Community Care)

Community care clients

We will give assistance in cases which raise issues concerning the legal responsibilities of health and social care trusts and other public bodies in the provision of health and social care.  In particular we will provide advice and assistance to people who have needs due to physical or mental disability, ill health or age or whose needs arise because of their role as carer.
Where necessary, we will initiate judicial review proceedings in the High Court to clarify interpretation of health and social services law and/ or to challenge decisions made by public bodies or made by Health and Social Care Trusts. We will pursue appeals to the Court of Appeal and beyond where necessary.
In 2012-2013 we will give priority to:
judicial review cases involving human rights law and interpretation of new legislation and policies, particularly those focused on service reduction;
cases which allow us to work on developing the role of the Northern Ireland Ombudsman in community care.We will give assistance in cases which raise issues concerning the legal responsibilities of health and social care trusts and other public bodies in the provision of health and social care.  In particular we will provide advice and assistance to people who have needs due to physical or mental disability, ill health or age or whose needs arise because of their role as carer. 

The Law Centre's Independent Advice, Support and Mediation Service (Community Care) runs a specialist advice line and representation service.

 

How we can help you

We provide advice and assistance to:

  • adults who have needs due to physical or mental disability, ill health or age,
  • adults with sensory disabilities, and
  • adults whose needs arise because of their role as carer. 

We can help in cases which raise issues concerning the legal responsibilities of health and social care trusts and other public bodies in the provision of health and social care.

Read stories on how we helped some of our recent clients here.

 

Our community care legal advisers

Our community care legal advisers are experts in health and social care law.

    Patricia Southern       Caroline Cooley, Law Centre (NI)   

 Patricia Southern

Belfast Office

Caroline Cooley

Western Area Office

Our advice line

Phone  028 9024 4401

Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm

Out of hours voicemail service available

We also run a regional advice clinic service, please contact us for further information.

 

We advise in all areas of community care, including:

  • needs assessments
  • provision of services
  • direct payments
  • benefits and community care
  • grants for home improvements for people with disabilities
  • services for young adults transitioning from Children’s Services
  • financing residential and nursing home care
  • carer’s assessments
  • capacity and decision making in social care
  • human rights issues and social care

 

Representation service

We resolve the majority of cases through negotiation with HSC Trusts and service providers.

Where necessary, we initiate judicial review proceedings in the High Court to clarify interpretation of health and social services law and/ or to challenge decisions made by public bodies or HSC Trusts. We can pursue appeals to the Court of Appeal and beyond where necessary.

 

Information

Download legal information on:

More information on community care issues:

More information on rights in health and social care of migrants and refugees here.

 

Training

We provide training for health and social care staff and for advisers working in the field of community care. For more information on courses available, visit: Law Centre NI training.

 

More about our community care legal advisers

Our community care legal advisers have extensive expertise and experience in health and social care law.

Patricia Southern has worked for Law Centre (NI) as a community care legal adviser since 2003. She has over 25 years’ legal experience, having previously worked in private practice, and in the public and voluntary sector.

Caroline Cooley has been a community care legal adviser for the Law Centre since 2008. She has been a qualified solicitor since 2006 and has previously worked as a lawyer in both private practice and the public sector. 

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