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Irwin Mitchell Help Grant 71-Year-Old The Right To Live Independently

Irwin Mitchell Court of Protection lawyers have helped grant a 71-year-old man the option to move out of his care home and back to independent living.

Our client ‘P’ was admitted to hospital in 2013 after becoming physically and verbally hostile to those around him, including his partner of 26 years. He was also experiencing visual and auditory hallucinations, and started carrying a knife in order to protect his home.

The aggressive behaviour continued when P was in hospital and he was detained under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act, even though there was no formal diagnosis. He was discharged to a care home where staff couldn’t manage his aggressive and sexually inappropriate behaviour. P was once again sectioned under the Mental Health Act and returned to hospital. Soon after, he was discharged once again to another care home.

We came on board with P’s case in 2016 by acting as his litigation friend. P was suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and frontal lobe dementia but a diagnosis of dementia was never formally recorded. When we visited P at his care home, he said he’d like to live on his own, and would be happy for carers to visit him throughout the day.

To help P’s case, we asked a psychiatrist to help determine whether P had the mental capacity to make decisions relating to his own care. After providing a medical report, the psychiatrist concluded that P had capacity to make decisions in relation to his case, residence and care.

It was also claimed that P’s personal care standards (for example, he chose to only wash once a week) were more likely to be the result of his social background rather than a lack of mental capacity, as other reports had suggested.

Despite this, the local authority carried out more assessments following the psychiatrist’s report. Their reports suggested that P did not have the mental capacity to make decisions relating to his care. The psychiatrist responded by confirming what he found in his original investigation, and the capacity assessments made by the local authority did not change his mind.

It was concluded that the assessments made by the local authority misdiagnosed P, as they misunderstood his lifestyle choices. P had only ever washed once a week, even before his condition deteriorated.

The local authority accepted the evidence and the case was dropped. P agreed to live at the care home until an alternative placement could be arranged, and his Independent Mental Capacity Advocate supported him in his eventual move into more independent living.

If you or someone you know is in a dispute regarding decisions over care, our Mental Capacity Lawyers may be able to help.

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