Adult Care

Tuesday 31 March 2015

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Clarke v LB Sutton [2015] EWHC 1081 (Admin), HHJ Sycamore, sitting as a High Court judge: The claimant (C) suffered from severe epilepsy and had a number of mental health and behavioural difficulties. He held a tenancy of supported living accommodation with care services provided by specialised services provided by Independence Homes. The local authority carried out an assessment which concluded that his care could be provided in a non-specialist placement. Evidence was submitted on C’s behalf from a consultant neurologist and Epilepsy Nurse Specialist that C needed the level of care he currently had, including waking night staff. The local authority proposed to provide for waking night staff on only 3 nights a month in anticipation that C would have 3 seizures a month during the night. This was in the face of evidence that it was not possible to predict on which nights seizures would occur. It was held that the decision to terminate the existing care package should be quashed. There had been a failure to understand and address the C’s medical and support needs. The local authority had not obtained its own independent evidence, for example, from a consultant or other expert in epilepsy. Although it had available to it the opinions of C’s consultant, GP, epilepsy nurse and care provider, it relied on the judgment of the social worker who did not claim to have medical skills or qualifications. The decision to move C from his home of 4 years when no suitable alternative accommodation and care was available was also an unlawful interference with his Article 8 rights. Click here for the judgment.

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