Stephen Knafler QC appeared for the successful appellant in R (SL) v City of Westminster  EWCA Civ 954. 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 was instructed by Joanna Thomson of Pierce Glynn solicitors.
Adrian Berry submitted written representations on behalf of the Intervener, The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture. He was instructed by Victoria Pogge von Strandmann of Maxwell Gillott Solicitors.
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