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Befriending service established for young man with learning disabilities

The Law Centre negotiated with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust to set up a befriending service for a young adult with a learning disability.

The family had contacted Mencap who referred them to the Law Centre's Community Care Unit.

The Trust had conducted an assessment and had agreed that the young man had a genuine need. However, there was no adequate provision within the Trust for befriending young people with learning disabilities and there was a long delay in arranging the service.

As the primary carer, the mother was finding it increasingly difficult to sustain the level or care her son needed at home and her own health was suffering.

Following negotiations, the Trust has now set up and funded the service and the family are reporting that it is working well.

As well as specific laws on health and social care, this case involved article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights: the right to private and family life.

The young man's mother has praised the Law Centre's community care legal advice service: 'Excellent support, excellent advice'.

Relevant Legislation:

Health and Personal Social Services (NI) Order 1972
Carers and Direct Payments Act (NI) 2002
Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons (NI) Act 1978
Human Rights Act 1998



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