Published: 12/08/2004, Volume II4, No. 5918 Page 25

By Luke Clements Published by Legal Action Group (ISBN 1903307198)

This is the third edition of a comprehensive review of the current law on community care.

As the author Luke Clements points out, contradictions and inconsistencies 'run like fault lines through the community care legislation'.

He describes the current position with reference to legislation, guidance, case law and ombudsman's reports and highlights the lack of clarity in policy.

The first chapters deal primarily with the responsibilities of social services authorities.

There is a useful chapter on access to information, data protection and confidentiality as well as chapters on social services responsibilities, strategic planning, assessments, ordinary residence, care homes, domiciliary and community-based services and direct payments.There is reference to the interface with the NHS throughout.

There is a particularly relevant chapter on NHS responsibilities for community care services.This includes the recently published health service ombudsman's reports and the Continuing Care Directions 2004 as well as the Coughlan judgement on nursing care.

There are also chapters on carers, charging, older people's services, learning disability and mental health, drugs, alcohol and HIV services, housing, children's services and remedies dealing with the complaints procedures in social services and the NHS, judicial review and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Bill Leason is a partner with Hempsons solicitors.