The High Court has rejected a legal challenge to Worcestershire Council's "maximum expenditure policy" which will limit, on introduction, how much is spent on supporting a disabled adult in the community to that for equivalent provision in residential care.
The case was brought by D, a disabled teenager, following concerns that the Council had failed to make clear the true consequences of the policy during its public consultation.
It was felt that D, and other disabled people in Worcestershire, may be forced to make a choice between an inadequate care package at home or residential care. The Judge did not accept this argument.
Although the Judge dismissed the claim, he gave clear guidance to the Council on how they should implement the policy in future, warning the Council will be required to take into account policy objectives of giving disabled individuals control and choice over care support, encouraging individuals to live in the community, with fewer in residential care.
"It will also be required to take into account its assurances during the consultation period - and in the course of this claim - that no individual will be forced into living in residential care, as a result of this policy alone," he added.
Charity Disability Rights issued a statement on the decision. It said: "Disability Rights UK believes no one should be forced to go into residential care against their wishes.
"It is completely unacceptable to put a cap on the individual cost of independent living.
"Enabling disabled people to have choice and control is the best use of public money - enabling us to participate fully in our communities and contribute."
The challenge was not against the lawfulness of the policy itself, as so far it has not yet been applied to anyone, so there may be other legal challenges following its introduction.