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, 185 of this website's 2016 categorised cases have been transferred to the new database (1831 cases still to add!)
(1) (6) (1) (6) (2) (8) (4) (5) (2) (16) (8) (3) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (2) (1) (6) (3) (3) (3) (4) (4) (2) (3) (24) (2) (16) (18) (4) (2) (10) (10) (4) (12) (3) (1) (4) (3) (1) (3) (1) (5) (14) (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|
|* Proceeding in absence of solicitor and patient DA v Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust  UKUT 348 (AAC) — The tribunal refused to adjourn the case of a CTO patient who had not attended the hearing, then the solicitor left the hearing because she felt unable to represent the patient in those circumstances. (1) The tribunal's initial decision to proceed in the patient's absence referred to rule 39(1) (whether the party had been notified of the hearing or reasonable steps had been taken to notify the party of the hearing, and whether it was in the interests of justice to proceed with the hearing) and rule 39(2)(a) (whether the patient had decided not to attend the hearing or was unable to attend the hearing for reasons of ill health) but not rule 39(2)(b) (whether a rule 34 medical examination of the patient been carried out or was impractical or unnecessary). However, given the assumption that, as an expert tribunal, it will have got the law right, it was more likely than not that the tribunal decided it was impractical to carry out an examination. (2) The tribunal had not considered making an appointment under rule 11(7), but this was unnecessary as there was no indication that the patient had withdrawn her instructions or lacked capacity. (3) When the solicitor departed, it was incumbent upon the tribunal to make a fresh assessment under rule 39(1) as to whether it was in the interests of justice to proceed with the hearing. Its reasons did not mention the departure and it was unlikely that the tribunal had carried out such an assessment; even if it had done so, the lack of any explanation would have rendered the reasons inadequate. (4) The matter was remitted to the First-tier Tribunal for a re-hearing by a differently-constituted panel.||2019‑11‑18 14:48:18||2019 cases, Cases, Judgment available on MHLO, Judgment missing from Bailii, Powers, Transcript, Upper Tribunal decisions
|* Withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment - transfer to Italy Raqeeb v Barts NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 2531 (Admin) — This judgment related to: (a) the child's (Tafida's) judicial review of the Trust's decision not to agree to transfer her to an Italian hospital; (b) the Trust's application for a specific issue order under s8 Children Act 1989, and for an inherent jurisdiction declaration, that it was in the child's best interests for life-sustaining treatment to be withdrawn. Both applications were dismissed, with the effect that one of the hospitals had to continue life-sustaining treatment and, there being no justification for interfering with Tafida's right (under Article 56 Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union) to receive treatment in another EU state, it was anticipated that the transfer would take place. The judgment provides guidance on dealing with a request by parents of an EU citizen child for transfer for medical treatment in another Member State,||2019‑10‑17 22:42:09||2019 cases, Cases, Deprivation of liberty - children, Inherent jurisdiction cases, Judgment available on Bailii, Medical treatment cases
|* Inherent jurisdiction prevents elderly man from living with son Southend-On-Sea Borough Council v Meyers  EWHC 399 (Fam) — "The essence of his vulnerability is, in fact, his entirely dysfunctional relationship with his son ... Mr Meyers, I am satisfied, is entirely capable of and has the capacity ... for determining where he wishes to reside and with whom. ... I instinctively recoil from intervening in the decision making of a capacitious adult ... Here Mr Meyers' life requires to be protected and I consider that, ultimately, the State has an obligation to do so. Additionally, it is important to recognise that the treatment of Mr Meyers has not merely been neglectful but abusive and corrosive of his dignity. To the extent that the Court's decision encroaches on Mr Meyers' personal autonomy it is, I believe, a justified and proportionate intervention. The preservation of a human life will always weigh heavily when evaluating issues of this kind. ... The objective here ... is that Mr Meyers be prevented from living with his son, either in the bungalow or in alternative accommodation. I do not compel him to reside in any other place or otherwise limit with whom he should live. ... The impact of the Court's intervention is to limit Mr Meyers's accommodation options but it does not deprive of his physical liberty which is the essence of the right guaranteed by Article 5. ... It is also necessary to restrict the extent of Mr Meyers's contact with his son in order to keep him safe. ... To the extent that this interferes with his Article 8 rights it is, again as I have indicated above, a necessary and proportionate intervention. ... The ideal solution here, it seems to me, would be for Mr Meyers to return to his bungalow with a suitable package of support, his son having been excluded from the property."||2019‑10‑08 18:43:20||2019 cases, Cases, Inherent jurisdiction cases, Judgment available on Bailii
|* 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|
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