2011 12 Mental Health

Sunday 1 January 2012

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PFZ v West London MH NHS Trust (2011): Settlement of the case. PFZ, an informal patient with a long history of mental illness, was allowed to run away from hospital in a suicidal state. PFZ jumped from a balcony sustaining and permanent and catastrophic spinal cord injury which left him tetraplegic and wheelchair-bound. PFZ then sued the Defendant Trust for the negligent failure to provide him with adequate treatment. The Trust agreed to compensate him on the basis of 40% liability, and made an advance payment of £75,000; the full amount is yet to be assessed to meet PFZ's care needs for the remainder of his life. This is estimated to require millions of pounds.

Re Ian Brady (2011) First-tier Tribunal: In a decision given on 17th October 2011, the application by Mr Ian Brady for a hearing in public that his application dated 4th August 2010 should be held in public was granted. The date of the hearing and appropriate arrangements are being determined. The fact of this decision should be published. (click here for Judge's summary)

Secretary of State for Justice v (1) RB and (2) Lancashire Care Foundation Trust[2011] EWCA Civ 1608 (Maurice Kay LJ, Arden LJ, Moses LJ): On allowing the appeal the Court of Appeal held that a tribunal could not rely on a patient's best interests as a ground for ordering a conditional discharge on terms that involved a deprivation of liberty. The Court held that Parliament could not have intended to create a new species of detention that was potentially more detrimental to personal liberty than detention under the Mental Health Act 1983. The Secretary of State appealed against a decision of the Upper Tribunal ((2010) UKUT 454 (AAC)) in relation to RB. RB had been detained in a mental hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983 s.37 and s.41 following his conviction for indecent assault. However, the Upper Tribunal subsequently ordered, pursuant to s.73, his conditional discharge into the community to reside in a care home. B agreed to the order, despite the conditions amounting to a deprivation of his liberty. (click here for transcript)

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