2011 06 Adult Care

Friday 1 July 2011

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R (Shoesmith) v Ofsted and others [2011] EWCA Civ 642 (Master of the Rolls, Maurice Kay and Stanley Burnton LJJ): a direction under section 497A(4B) of the Education Act 1996 appointing another person to Ms Shoesmith’s position as Director of Children's Services, and removing Ms Shoesmith, had been unlawful because of the lack of procedural fairness leading to the direction. Ms Shoesmith's consequent summary dismissal by her local authority, on the grounds of the direction and a fundamental breach of confidence, had also been unlawful. The underlying OFSTED inspection and report, which had been severely critical of Ms Shoesmith, had been fair. However, it had been unfair of the Secretary of State and local authority not to have given Ms Shoesmith the opportunity of making representations before she was dismissed as those representations might have made a difference. Click here for the transcript.

R (AP, MP) v HM Coroner for the County of Worcestershire and others [2011] EWHC 1453 Admin (Hickinbottom J): on the facts, the local social services authority neither knew, or ought to have known, that there was a real and immediate risk to live of Adrian, a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome, to whom they provided care services and, in any event, the local authority did not have control over Adrian, such as to give rise to an operational obligation to protect him from such a risk. Further, whilst there were some individual failings in connection with the process of assessment and service provision, there was no systemic failure in the local authority’s protective functions such as to engage its responsibility for the young man’s death, under Article 2 of the Convention. Consequently, since there was no arguable breach of Article 2, the adjectival duty under Article 2 to hold an enhanced independent investigation into Adrian’s death did not arise. However, even if it had done, the IPCC and other investigations and reports were sufficient to discharge that duty. Click here for the transcript. (Lawtel users only).

R (KM) v Cambridgeshire CC [2011] EWCA Civ 682 (Jackson, Tomlinson LJJ): the local authority had ultimately provided sufficient, coherent and rational reasons for its assessment of KM’s needs and for the amount of money it had offered to KM by way of a direct payment to meet those needs. The reasons included an explanation of the required services, assumed timings and assumptions as to cost, albeit not a finite mathematical calculation, and sufficiently demonstrated that direct payments of the assessed amount would meet KM’s assessed needs. Click here for the transcript.

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