2011 08 Adult Care

Thursday 1 September 2011

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R (SL) v City of Westminster [2011] EWCA Civ 954 (Laws, Richards and Rimer LJJ): the Court of Appeal held that SL, a failed asylum-seeker, had been entitled to residential accommodation, on the basis that he suffered from PTSD and depression and required weekly monitoring by his care co-ordinator as well as some help by voluntary sector counselling groups and a befriender. The Court held that this amounted to the provision of “care and attention” for the purposes of section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948: “It is to be noted that care and attention within the subsection is not limited to acts done by the local authority’s employees or agents. And …… the subsection does not envisage any particular intensity of support in order to constitute care and attention”. This care and attention was not “otherwise available”, otherwise than by the provision of residential accommodation, because “care and attention is not “otherwise available” unless it would be reasonably practicable and efficacious to supply it without the provision of accommodation”: “it would, as Mr Knafler submitted (skeleton argument paragraph 30), be absurd to provide a programme of assistance and support through a care co-ordinator “without also providing the obviously necessary basis of stable accommodation””. Stephen Knafler QC appeared for the appellant. Adrian Berry made written submissions on behalf of The Medical Foundation.

R (McDonald) v Kensington & Chelsea RLBC [2011] UKSC 33 (Lord Walker JSC, Lady Hale JSC, Lord Brown JSC, Lord Kerr JSC and Lord Dyson JSC): (Lady Hale JSC dissenting) Ms M was not incontinent but, because she had a small bladder, she needed to urinate 2 or 3 times a night, and, because of her physical disability, she required assistance to reach her commode to do so. The Supreme Court held that the local authority had been entitled to re-assess Ms M’s need and to decide that she did not need assistance to reach her commode (which could only realistically be met by providing a night-time carer), but, instead, general toileting assistance (which could be met by the provision of incontinence pads). Click here for the transcript.

R (TG) v North Somerset DC [2011] EWHC Admin (Laws LJ): because of the local authority’s serious concerns about the conduct of the claimants’ parents, who were also the trustees of their user independent trust, and their litigation friends, the local authority had been entitled, without carrying out any form of consultation or re-assessment of need, to make payments reduced by 33% to interim brokers appointed by the local authority pending a full investigation, and then to terminate direct payments altogether and to provide services arranged by the local authority (which did in fact continue to meet the claimants’ needs). Click here for the provisional Lawtel report(there is as yet no free transcript).

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