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Our Public Law and Human Rights team have moved a woman back to her home of 40 years after a dispute arose over her care needs.
The woman, known as ‘P’ for legal reasons, suffered a stroke in February 2018 and was admitted to University Hospital Southampton. She was fit for discharge by May 2018. However, the local authority wanted P to be moved straight to a care home on the basis that they thought she lacked mental capacity in relation to her care.
P and her son, who we worked with throughout the case, strongly objected to this. They both said that P had capacity, and that she should be moved back to the home she had lived in for over 40 years – not to a care home.
Despite this, the local authority attempted to move P to a care home. During the move, P objected so strongly to the decision that the care home refused to accept her, and the ambulance service said they felt uncomfortable leaving her there. Therefore, she was returned to the hospital.
While in the care of the hospital, P was put under a Deprivation of Liberty. This prevented her from leaving and generally restricted her freedom. She made it clear that she objected to this and that she would continue to object to any move to a care home.
The local authority assessed that although they did not think P had capacity in relation to her care, she did have it in relation to court proceedings and her property. As a result, they recommended a solicitor to P. P was able to instruct her solicitors directly, even though she had been deemed to lack mental capacity.
Irwin Mitchell represented P and her son in court in August 2018, filing a detailed statement on why P should not be moved to a care home. The judge ordered that P should return to her own home with a package of care – a decision that was made within minutes of both parties entering the courtroom.
P successfully moved back to her home, and has made good progress since. Her son told us that further reports concluded that P did in fact have full capacity in relation to her care, and that her care package has been reduced since the move.
If you or someone you know is in dispute over care arrangements, or deprivation of liberty, our Mental Capacity Solicitors may be able to help you.
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