Extracts from letter to Law Society.
Derek J. Cole M.A.(Law), LL.B. (Jesus College, Cambridge)
9 Anglesea Terrace, , St Leonards on Sea TN38 0QS
The Chief Executive Officer . The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
10th June, 2005
This is the most extraordinary letter which, in a long and variegated career of 74 years, I have ever had to write. ...........'criteria' which according to the Law Society's own evidence they must .......be unlawful ..................(depriving) the old, the ill and the infirm of all their life savings.
Many are war veterans. My own list of claimants scrolled down the screen on Channel 4 News for me the day the Select Committee reported include a driver of a Sherman Tank at El Alamein, a prisoner of the Japanese, a member of 14th Army in Burma (the forgotten Army) and a Dunkirk veteran who later landed at 7.00 am on Juno Beach.........
It would not surprise me if most of those I assist conclude they will never trust any solicitor (or Doctor) ever again. ............ criteria which I did not hesitate to describe as 'catastrophically unlawful' ...........
I also anticipated Nicola Mackintosh;s evidence by three years by applying the Coughlan Test and showing Pam would not remotely qualify for free care under this absurd ...........criteria. They were so obviously unlawful........
Firstly, I have uncovered further damning evidence
Secondly, there is the deceptive reference intended to defraud on ,,,,,,.............advice leaflet.
Thirdly, there is your evidence to the Select Committee. (You refer to the guidance as 'incorrect'. I beat you by four years, describing it in a Report to Paul Burstow M.P on 31st July, 2001 as 'unlawful, misleading and designed to deceive.)
Fourthly, there is Nicola Mackintosh's evidence that Pam Coughlan when considered by the Court was both stable and predictable, so that the words 'unstable or unpredictable' can only have been used with ..... intention.
Fifthly, there is her evidence that Pam Coughlan's health needs are less than most residents of nursing homes, so ............ that the criteria are producing unlawful results on a huge scale. In an 'opinion' to Essex C.C. in Feb 2000, James Goudie Q.C. described Pam as 'not a marginal case'.
Sixthly, a potential whistle-blower ...............approached us .......................seminars which, in effect, instruct NHS Managers to break the law.
I do not know if here is anything you can do about this, but you should at least know the immense harm ................to the reputation of your profession.
I am assisting 'pro bono' a considerable number of cases across the country where we are flatly refusing to pay Social Services on the grounds that the claim is 'ultra vires'. No council has yet dared sue after reading my defence. For your interest, I quote two paragraphs ..........
1) I intend to argue that the concept of 'Social Care' as distinct from 'Health Care' does not exist either in law or in medicine and is merely a figment of the Secretary of State's imagination. The Select Committee clearly established that no definition exists to distinguish between the two.
2) Dr Ladyman on 17th March, 2005 told the Select Committee. ...the Coughlan judgment ...... is quite often misinterpreted. The Coughlan judgment said that there is a maximum level at which a council which has a responsibility to provide funding for social care can be expected to provide that funding, and beyond that it is ultra vires. The Coughlan judgment did not make comments about NHS continuing care; it simply said: "Here is the most that a council's remit allows it to pay."
I am not entirely sure that Dr Ladyman, the Committee or even Lord Woolf realised the full implications. It surely follows, as night follows the day, that Social Services must write and implement the criteria, that the custom of the NHS doings so is at best futile and arguably unlawful. I find this situation bizarre.
A very large number of claimants would be interested to have your comments.
As a result of my experiences on this issue, the advice I give them, and take myself, is that in Modern Britain nobody in authority obeys the law. You can never believe anything any professional or public servant says