Mental health case law
The mental health cases on this site are structured into categories and (where appropriate) sub-categories:
- To browse through categories and cases, click on the ▼ and ► symbols as appropriate.
- To view summaries of all cases within a category, click on the category name.
- To view a particular case, click on the case name (which will be listed under the relevant category).
New database structure
The new database structure introduced in 2019 is more useful than the old categorisation system: see Special:Drilldown/Cases. Currently, 176 of this website's 2009 categorised cases have been transferred to the new database (1833 cases still to add!)
(1) (6) (1) (6) (2) (8) (4) (5) (2) (16) (7) (3) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (3) (3) (3) (3) (4) (4) (2) (3) (23) (2) (16) (17) (4) (9) (10) (4) (12) (3) (1) (4) (3) (1) (2) (1) (5) (13) (1)
If you have been involved in a case not listed here, or have a transcript that is not yet on Bailii, then please get in touch. See Help page for contact details.
The following are the most recently-added 2019 cases:
The new database structure introduced in 2019 is more useful than this Category page: see Special:Drilldown/Cases.
The pages below are initially ordered according to the dates on which they were added to the site (most recent first). The order can be changed by clicking on the symbol beside a column heading: click on the symbol beside "Page and summary" for alphabetical order; click beside "Categories" for the order in which the cases were reported. Click on the arrow symbol again to reverse the order. Click on a page name to view the relevant page. Asterisks mark those cases which have been added to the new database structure.
|Case and summary||Date added||Categories|
|* Complaint about community care delay Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (17 012 839a)  MHLO 44 (LGSCO) — LGSCO's summary: "The Ombudsmen do not consider Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust delayed providing support for Mrs X’s mental health needs. We have not found fault with the way the Council decided what support she needed. The Ombudsmen consider Derbyshire County Council delayed completing Mr X’s carer assessment and should have considered carrying out an integrated assessment with Mrs X. However, it has remedied the distress Mr X suffered."||2019‑08‑30 20:13:00||2019 cases, Cases, Community care, LGO decisions
|* Failure to carry out carer's assessment Rotherham Doncaster & South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (18 010 101a)  MHLO 43 (LGSCO) — LGSCO's summary of decision: "The Trust and Council were at fault in not carrying out a carer’s assessment and not involving Mrs S during her husband’s period of treatment. There was also fault in record-keeping and delays in responding to the complaint. These failings caused an injustice to Mrs S as she lost the opportunity for additional support and is likely to have suffered additional distress. The Trust and Council have already taken action to address these failings and improve processes. The Trust and Council have agreed to pay Mrs S financial redress and the Trust has agreed to monitor and report on improvements in its complaints handling."||2019‑08‑22 23:00:08||2019 cases, Cases, Community care, LGO decisions
|* Pregnancy - OS out-of-hours representation Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust v X  EWCOP 35 — (1) Official Solicitor's lack of out-of-hours service: "... I invite the Official Solicitor to urgently review this position and consider putting in place arrangements that will ensure appropriate representation out of normal court hours for those individuals who are the subject of urgent applications that potentially involve serious medical treatment. ... [E]very effort must be made to issue such applications during normal court hours." (2) Pregnancy: "Having considered the submissions of the parties there is, in my judgment, in accordance with s 48 Mental Capacity Act 2005, reason to believe that X lacks capacity in relation to the matter, namely the medical intervention that may be necessary for X to give birth to a baby who is safe and well. On the evidence the court has from Dr Y, which I accept, his assessment is X is unable to reconcile her conflicting beliefs (on the one hand of wanting a natural birth and also wanting a live, well and safely born baby) in a way that she is able to balance the pros and cons. Additionally, there is, in my judgment, a real risk the position is unlikely to change and is more likely to deteriorate. He concluded X showed limited insight in relation to her previous mental ill- health. I have carefully considered the submissions on behalf of the Official Solicitor regarding capacity but looking at all the evidence and information available to the court I am satisfied the interim declaration should be made."||2019‑08‑19 23:28:47||2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Litigation friend cases, Medical treatment cases
|* Failure to carry out DOLS assessments Staffordshire County Council (18 004 809)  MHLO 41 (LGSCO) — LGSCO decision: "The Council has acted with fault in deciding not to assess low and medium priority Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards applications. The Council is also taking too long to deal with urgent applications. This is causing a potential injustice to the thousands of people in its area who are being deprived of their liberty without the proper checks that the restrictions they are subject to are in their best interests." The final sentence of the conclusion states: "[I]t is not acceptable that the only way low and medium priority applications are resolved is because the people involved move away or die."||2019‑08‑10 22:11:49||2019 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty, LGO decisions
|* Non-legal research by judge JG v Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust  UKUT 187 (AAC) — Judicial summary from gov.uk website: "Mental Health First-tier Tribunal - Judicial Bias - Apparent bias - Breach of Natural Justice - Procedural Irregularity. Where a First-tier Tribunal judge undertook non-legal research by accessing a court of appeal judgment in respect of the appellant, did this lead to a presumption of bias and automatic disqualification? Did it lead to a conclusion of a real possibility of bias? Whether so doing amounts to a procedural irregularity leading to a breach of natural justice in that it rendered the hearing unfair. In the circumstances appertaining there can be no presumption of bias leading to automatic disqualification. On the facts of the case there was no real possibility of bias. Undertaking the non-legal research was a procedural irregularity but on the facts the hearing was not unfair."||2019‑08‑01 23:25:11||2019 cases, Bias, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii
|* Oral tribunal decision PAA v SSHD  UKUT 13 (IAC) — The UT's summary of this judgment is as follows: "(1) In accordance with rule 29(1) the First-tier Tribunal may give a decision orally at a hearing. (2) If it does so, that is the decision on the appeal, and the effect of Patel v SSHD ! is that there is no power to revise or revoke the decision later. The requirement to give written reasons does not mean that reasons are required in order to perfect the decision. (3) If the written decision, when issued, is inconsistent with the oral decision, both decisions, being decisions of the Tribunal, stand until set aside by a court of competent jurisdiction; but neither party is entitled to enforce either decision until the matter has been sorted out on appeal. (4) In such a case, as in any other, time for appealing against the decision given at the hearing runs, under rule 33 (2) and (3), from the date of provision of the written reasons, however inappropriate the reasons may appear to be, subject to any successful application for extension of time." Rule 41(1) of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber) Rules 2008 is the same as rule 29(1) of the immigration and asylum rules cited above.||2019‑07‑26 21:46:00||2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Powers, Upper Tribunal decisions
|* Reinstatement JS v SLAM NHS Foundation Trust  UKUT 172 (AAC) — (1) Reinstatement: "As there is no right to reinstatement, the tribunal has a discretion whether or not to reinstate the party’s ‘case’. It must, like all discretions, be exercised judicially and that involves complying with the overriding objective of the tribunal’s rules of procedure, which is ‘to enable the Tribunal to deal with cases fairly and justly’ (rule 2(1)). ... Considered methodically, the factors that the tribunal should take into account neatly divide into three. First, the tribunal should consider whether there is anything to undermine either the patient’s application to withdraw or the tribunal’s consent. Just to give some examples, the application may have been based on a misunderstanding of the facts or the law. Or there may be an issue whether the patient had capacity or gave informed consent. Or the tribunal’s reasons for consenting may have been defective. Second, there may have been a change of circumstances that makes it appropriate to agree to reinstatement. Third, the tribunal will have to consider any other factors that may be relevant under the overriding objective. These will include: (a) the reasons given in support of the application, whatever they may be; (b) any prejudice to the patient in refusing consent; (c) any detriment to the other parties if consent is given; (d) any prejudice to other patients if consent is given; and (d) any impact that reinstatement might have on the operation of the tribunal’s mental health jurisdiction system as a whole." (2) Respondent status: "[T]he Trust was properly named as a respondent on the appeal to the Upper Tribunal ... The Trust was the responsible authority and, as such, a party to the proceedings in the First-tier Tribunal ... On appeal by the patient to the Upper Tribunal, everyone else who was a party before the First-tier Tribunal became a respondent ... That is standard procedure in appeal generally. The Trust’s letter shows a confusion between an appeal and a judicial review. In the latter, the tribunal is the respondent, and others may be interested parties."||2019‑07‑17 10:54:45||2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Powers, Upper Tribunal decisions
|* Immigration detention R (ASK) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 1239 — "These appeals raise important issues concerning the powers of the Respondent Secretary of State to detain those who suffer from mental health conditions pending removal from the United Kingdom. In each case, the Appellant is a foreign national who satisfied the statutory criteria for detention pending removal, but who suffered from mental illness such that it is said that, for at least some of the period he was detained, he was not only unfit to be removed and/or detained in an immigration removal centre ("IRC"), but did not have mental capacity to challenge his detention and/or engage with the procedures to which he was subject as a detainee. As a result, it is submitted that, in detaining each Appellant, the Secretary of State acted unlawfully in one or more of the following ways. ..."||2019‑07‑17 10:17:55||2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Repatriation cases
|* Death - wishes and feelings Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v TG  EWCOP 21 — "I am being asked to take today an irreversible decision that will lead inevitably to death sooner rather than later and probably within minutes or seconds of the tube being removed. I am being asked to do so in the face of what I find are the wishes and feelings of TG. ... I have come to the clear decision that it is in the patient's best interests that intubation should continue. I recognise that this places a huge burden on the treating team. It is against their advice and their wishes and of course also those of Dr Newman but I remind myself constantly, this is her life and her wishes as I have found them to be and nobody else's. It may be that if the position were to remain the same in six months' time or no successful tracheostomy had been carried out that different considerations might apply but I am not looking at the future, I am looking at things as they are now and for those reasons I reach my decision and refuse the application."||2019‑07‑08 22:29:31||2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Medical treatment cases
|* Jehovah's Witness - blood transfusion Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust v DE  EWCOP 19 — "The only issue during the hearing was the degree to which DE's wishes and feelings would be overborne by a decision to allow a blood transfusion, in the light of her being a Jehovah's Witness; and therefore whether there was a disproportionate interference in DE's article 8 rights. However, the evidence even at the oral hearing was that although DE described herself as a Jehovah's Witness she was not someone for whom those beliefs were central to her personality or sense of identity. During the oral hearing I did not get any sense that she would feel deeply upset if an order was made in the form sought, or that she would feel a deep conflict with her religious beliefs. As such she was someone who was in a quite different decision from B in Jackson J's decision, where his religious beliefs were fundamental to B's sense of who he was. The other stark contrast with that case is that DE had been completely clear that she did not want to die. She is also significantly younger than was B."||2019‑07‑08 22:16:16||2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Medical treatment cases|
The following are the main sources of case transcripts/information:
- Bailii - including Court of Protection decisions on Bailii
- Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) website - decisions
- MoJ/OPG website (archived)
- Readers of the website submitting previously-unpublished decisions (see Help page for contact details, and Contributors).
- Upper Tribunal case summary document (January 2016) — This is a document issued to tribunal judges as guidance. The summary of PJ v A Local Health Board  UKUT 480 (AAC),  MHLO 63 (in relation to the tribunal's role when faced with an ECHR breach) effectively rephrases as correct the position found to be unlawful by the Upper Tribunal (whose decision has since been overturned on appeal). The summary of WH v Partnerships in Care  UKUT 695 (AAC),  MHLO 132 (in relation to the appropriate medical treatment test applying to the detaining hospital only) appears to contradict the ratio of the Upper Tribunal decision. See the case law pages for further details.
- Government website: Case Tracker for Civil Appeals