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Cases > Subject : After-care or Bias or EPA cases - all or Reasons or Testamentary capacity cases

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Parties:
A (1) · Alexandra Deborah Louise Parsons (1) · Alison Taylor (1) · An NHS Trust (1) · B (1) · Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (1) · Central Bedfordshire Council (2) · Christine Hancock (1) · CM (1) · CXF (2) · Damien Tinsley (2) · David Patrick Christopher O'Hagan (1) · Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (1) · DL-H (1) · Duncan Parsonage (1) · Elizabeth Jane Todd (1) · Emma-Jane Kurtz (1) · Gwent Health Authority (1) · Ian Parsonage (1) · Janet Ann Whittaker (1) · JG (1) · John Clitheroe (1) · Karen James (1) · Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (1) · Linda Ann Davidson (1) · Local Authority (1) · Local Government Association (1) · M (2) · Manchester City Council (2) · Margaret Ann Parker (1) · Mental Health Review Tribunal (1) · Michael James Todd (1) · Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (1) · Milton Keynes Council (1) · NHS Guilford and Waverley Clinical Commission Group (1) · North Norfolk CCG (2) · Priory Healthcare Limited (1) · Raymond Allen James (1) · Richards (Kenneth John) (2) · RM (1) · Sandra James (1) · Secretary of State for Justice (3) · Serena Underwood (1) · Sian Folley (1) · SLL (1) · South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group (2) · South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (2) · St Andrew's Healthcare (1) · Susan Bond (1) · Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (1) · Tomas Parsonage (1) · Torfaen County Borough Council (1) · West London Mental Health NHS Trust (1) · Worcestershire County Council (2) · Z (1)

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Page name Sentence Summary
Clitheroe v Bond (2020) EWHC 1185 (Ch)

Testamentary capacity

"This is a bitter family dispute between the Claimant brother and Defendant sister as to whether their mother, the deceased, had testamentary capacity to make each of her two wills and in addition or in the alternative whether either or both wills resulted from fraudulent calumny."

CM v Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (2011) UKUT 129 (AAC)

Nature and degree

(1) The Tribunal's decision not to discharge was made in error of law, and was set aside, (a) because there was no real evidence to support its view that non-compliance with medication and the risk of consequent relapse in the near future would probably occur, (b) because it did not establish that in these circumstances it had complied with the 'least restriction principle', (c) because of the irrationality in paragraph 21 of its decision (in that as the risk was of what might eventually happen it was hard to see how the envisaged leave regime could test that risk), and (d) because continued detention for the purposes of avoiding a chaotic lifestyle or drug taking or the absence of drug counselling is not permitted by law on the facts of this case. (2) The judgment contains a discussion of the 'nature' and 'degree' tests.

DL-H v West London MH NHS Trust (2017) UKUT 387 (AAC)

Religious beliefs and tribunal expertise

Judicial summary from Gov.uk website: (1) "In deciding whether a patient is manifesting religious beliefs or mental disorder, a tribunal is entitled to take account of evidence from both religious and medical experts." (2) "A tribunal is entitled to use its own expertise to make a different diagnosis from those of the medical witnesses, provided it allows the parties a chance to make submissions and explains its decision."

James v James (2018) EWHC 43 (Ch)

Banks v Goodfellow test for testamentary capacity survives MCA

"There is a preliminary question of law as to the test to be applied for testamentary capacity in a case like this, where the testator has made a will, died, and then the question of capacity has arisen. The traditional test for such a case is that laid down in Banks v Goodfellow (1870) LR 5 QB 549, 565, per Cockburn CJ: 'It is essential … that a testator shall understand the nature of his act and its effects; shall understand the extent of the property of which he is disposing; shall be able to comprehend and appreciate the claims to which he ought to give effect, and, with a view to the latter object, that no disorder of the mind shall poison his affections, avert his sense of right, or prevent the exercise of his natural faculties, that no insane delusion shall influence his will in disposing of his property and bring about a disposal of it which, if his mind had been sound, would not have been made.' ... More recently the Mental Capacity Act 2005 has made fresh provision for the law of mental capacity in certain situations. What is unfortunately not made express in that legislation is the extent to which this fresh provision affects the test for capacity to make a will when that question is being judged retrospectively (typically, though not necessarily, post mortem). ... The general rule of precedent, as applied in the High Court, is that that court is not strictly bound by decisions of co-ordinate jurisdiction, but will follow them as a matter of comity unless convinced they are wrong ... As it happens, I think the decision in Walker v Badmin [2014] EWHC 71 (Ch)Not on Bailii! [that the test in Banks v Goodfellow not only had survived the enactment of the 2005 Act, but that it, rather than anything in the Act, was still the sole test of capacity for judging will-making capacity in retrospect] is right, and for the reasons given by the deputy judge. ... Whilst it is a complication to have two tests for mental capacity in making wills, one prospective and the other retrospective, it is a complication created by the decision of Parliament to legislate as it has, a decision that the courts must respect."

JG v Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (2019) UKUT 187 (AAC)

Non-legal research by judge

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."

M v An NHS Trust (2017) MHLO 39 (UT)

Tribunal reasons

"[T]he tribunal's decision was made in error of law, but not [set aside]. In my grant of permission, I identified two possible errors of law. ... One of those errors was that the tribunal's reasons might be inadequate for being 'long on history and evidence but short on discussion.' ... There is, in truth, only one thing that really has to be said about the quality of reasons, which is that they must be adequate. Everything else is merely application of that principle to the circumstances of a particular case. ... [T]he second possible error [is] that the 'tribunal's reasoning shows that it was confused about its role and the [relevance] of a community treatment order'. ... [T]he reasons at least leave open the possibility that the tribunal may have strayed outside its proper remit. ... The first three sentences read: 'A cardinal issue of this application is whether the patient should be discharged from hospital by a CTO. This issue involves knowledge of the nature of a CTO. A CTO may only be imposed by the patient's RC ...' It may be that the judge did not express himself clearly, but that passage appears to begin by suggesting, and to continue by denying, that the tribunal had power to make Mr M subject to an order or was being asked to approve that course. The judge did then make a distinction between discharge from hospital and discharge from the liability to be detained. So it is possible that his reference to 'discharge from hospital by a CTO' may have been intended, not as a direction about the tribunal's powers on the application, but as a statement of how the responsible clinician envisaged Mr M's eventual progress. This interpretation would be consistent with what the tribunal said later ... In view of Mr M's current status [he had been discharged], I do not have to decide whether those reasons do or do not show that the tribunal misdirected itself. I limit myself to saying that it is risky if reasons can be read in a way that indicates a misdirection. ... Given that Mr M is no longer liable to be detained, I can see no need to venture outside the appropriate role of the Upper Tribunal in mental health cases and state, even in the form of a narrative declaration, that the tribunal should have exercised its power to discharge him. That is why I have exercised my power to refuse to set aside the tribunal's decision regardless of any error of law that it may have made."

Milton Keynes CCG (17 018 823e) (2019) MHLO 61 (LGSCO)

Section 117 complaint

"Whilst the Trust was acting on behalf of the CCG in carrying out the s117 actions, the CCG is ultimately responsible for s.117 provision, along with the Council. ... The CCG, Trust and the Council should, by 23 December: (a) Write to Mrs B apologising for the impact of the fault in relation to not refunding the care fees relating to the supported living placement. (b) Confirm with Mrs B and refund the supported living fees which have not already been reimbursed. Mrs B may need to provide additional information to the organisations about fees paid as part of this. (c) Write to Miss A and Mrs B personally and apologise for the impact the lack of s.117 planning had on both of them individually due to the length of time Miss A went without adequate support. They should also apologise for the uncertainty caused by not knowing whether the incidents outlined above could have been avoided. (d) Pay Miss A £1500 and Mrs B £1000 each in recognition of the impact of the and length of time Miss A had a lack of s.117 support. By 20 February 2020, the Council, CCG and Trust should create an action plan of how they will notify and cooperate with each other to ensure patients are assessed promptly and s.117 care put in place in line with the MHA Code of Practice. This action plan should include a review of progress and the impact of any changes following implementation of the plan."

NHS Guilford and Waverley CCG (18 007 431a) (2019) MHLO 60 (LGSCO)

Section 117 complaint

"(1) Within one month of my final decision, the Council and CCG will: (a) Write to Miss X and Mr Y, acknowledging the fault identified in this decision and offering meaningful apologies; (b) Jointly pay Mr Y £500 for failure to provide support as outlined on his s117 aftercare plan, delayed care planning, loss of opportunity to re-engage him and distress as a result of poor communication around his care plan and eviction; (c) Jointly pay Miss X £150 for poor complaint handling, stress and inconvenience. (2) Within three months of my final decision, the Council and CCG will ensure that Cherrytrees and all other providers acting on their behalf under s117 review their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the relevant parts of the Code of Practice: Mental Health Act Code 1983, the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 and the Care Act 2014, in relation to: (a) Care planning; (b) Daily record keeping; (c) Complaint handling, including ensuring all points are responded to adequately and complainants are properly signposted should they wish to escalate their complaint."

Parsonage v Parsonage (2019) EWHC 2362 (Ch)

Validity of will

" The validity of the 2011 Will is challenged by D1 on the grounds that BP lacked capacity (1) to know and understand the nature and effect of the 2011 Will, (2) to know and understand the size of her estate, and/or (3) to know and appreciate the claims to which she ought to give effect. The underlying factual basis of the challenge is the severity or extent of BP's dementia and the circumstances in which the 2011 Will was prepared and executed."

R (CXF) v Central Bedfordshire Council (2017) EWHC 2311 (Admin)

"The central question raised in these proceedings is whether either or both of the Defendants has a duty under s117 of the MHA to cover the costs of the Claimant's mother's visits, on the ground that they constitute "after-care services" within the meaning of that provision. ... The specific issues that arise are as follows: (a) Whether the duty to provide after-care services under s117 is triggered when the Claimant is granted leave of absence from the Hospital under s17 of the MHA for an escorted bus trip. This issue turns on the question whether, when granted such leave of absence, the Claimant satisfies the two pre-conditions set out in s. 117(1), namely, (i) that he has "ceased to be detained" under s3 of the MHA, and (ii) that he has "left hospital"; (b) If so, whether the after-care services which are to be provided pursuant to s117(6) of the MHA may as a matter of principle include funding to cover the Claimant's mother's transport costs; (c) If so, whether on the facts of this case there is a duty to provide the funding sought as an after-care service under s117; (d) If so, whether the duty to provide the services falls on the First and Second Defendants jointly, or in fact falls on the First Defendant jointly with Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which was originally joined as a Defendant to these proceedings, but against which proceedings were discontinued in March 2017."

R (CXF) v Central Bedfordshire Council (2018) EWCA Civ 2852

The patient's mother drove weekly to accompany her son on escorted community leave bus trips. When he turned 18, the Children Act 1989 funding ceased and she sought judicial review of the refusal to fund her travel costs under MHA 1983 s117. (1) The patient did not "cease to be detained" or "leave hospital" within the meaning of s117(1) when on leave and so was not a person to whom s117 applied, and also the services provided did not constitute "after-care services" within the meaning of s117(6). (2) In other cases, such as a patient living in the community on a either a full-time or part-time trial basis, the s117 duty could arise. (3) (Obiter) It was difficult to see how s117 could have covered the mother's costs as there was no evidence that she was authorised to provide services on behalf of any CCG or LA. (4) The MHA Code of Practice is analogous to delegated legislation (which can only be used as an aid to interpretation if it formed part of Parliament's background knowledge when legislating) and so cannot be used to construe s117(1) which is part of the original text. (5) The court was critical of and provided guidance in relation to the quality of pleadings in statutory interpretation cases. (6) Even if the evidence provided by Mind's QC in written submissions had been relevant, it would not excuse the flagrant breach of the court's order not to stray into the giving of evidence. The matters which are admissible are so limited in statutory interpretation cases that it may be that there is nothing useful an intervenor can contribute.

R v Kurtz (2018) EWCA Crim 2743

"The Registrar of Criminal Appeals has referred this application for permission to appeal against conviction and sentence to the Full Court. The application concerns the scope of the offence created by s 44(2) read, in this case, with s 44(1)(b) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 ('MCA 2005) of which the Appellant was convicted. This provision has not previously been considered by the Court of Appeal. ... The essential question at the heart of this appeal is whether, on a prosecution for the offence contrary to s 44(2) read with s 44(1)(b), the prosecution must prove that the person said to have been wilfully neglected or ill-treated lacked capacity, or that the defendant reasonably believed that s/he lacked capacity. We shall refer to this as 'the lack of capacity requirement'. ... The submission by Ms Wade QC on behalf of the Appellant was that the existence of the EPA was not sufficient of itself to render the Appellant guilty of the offence contrary to s 44(1)(b) of the MCA 2005 even if she had wilfully neglected her mother. ... Despite our comments in [19] above as to the evidence which suggests that, at a minimum, the Appellant should reasonably have believed her mother to lack mental capacity in matters of personal welfare, the judge's failure to direct the jury in this regard is fatal to the safety of the conviction and the appeal must be allowed."

R v MHRT, ex p Hall (1999) EWHC Admin 351

Residence for s117 purposes

The provisions of s117 Mental Health Act 1983 are designed to ensure that there is always an aftercare authority, being the place where the patient resided before detention or, if there was no such residence, the place where the patient was to be sent on release; the duty as to aftercare included the provision of information to a Tribunal and so arose before discharge. [MHLR.]

Re M: A v Z (2018) EWCOP 4

COP bias

"This matter concerns an appeal from the order of HHJ Roberts made on 18 July 2018 in Court of Protection (COP) proceedings concerning M. The appellants are M's mother and father in law who have the care of X, M's son age 12. ... Mr Simblet relies on four grounds of appeal: (1) There was apparent bias, in that the judge stated her intention in the exchange between the judge and the legal representatives, in the absence of the parties, to decide the application consistent with decisions made in different proceedings. (2) The judge wrongly felt constrained to reach a decision that would be consistent with a decision she had reached in different proceedings. (3) There was a material irregularity, in that the Judge took into account material from different proceedings, and the [paternal grandparents] within the COP proceedings were unable to properly know the case against them or that they had to meet. (4) In reaching her decision the judge failed to identify or give sufficient weight to factors that were relevant to M's best interests."

Richards v Worcestershire County Council (2016) EWHC 1954 (Ch)

After-care

"The present proceedings were issued on 6 March 2015. They seek to recover sums totalling £644,645.87, which, it is said, were spent by Mr Richards' deputy on his behalf on providing him with care. The claim is based on section 117 of the 1983 Act. It is Mr Richards' case that section 117 applied when he was released from hospital in 2004 and that, accordingly, the defendants had a duty to provide him with after-care services. He contends that that duty extended to the provision of the various services which have thus far been paid for privately. ... There are essentially two issues to consider: (i) Is it in principle possible for Mr Richards to bring a restitutionary claim? (ii) If so, can the present claim be pursued otherwise than by way of judicial review?"

Richards v Worcestershire County Council (2017) EWCA Civ 1998

After-care

Executive summary and conclusion from judgment: "The claimant has a long history of mental illness, following frontal lobe injury which he sustained in a road traffic accident 33 years ago. He received damages following the accident, which his deputy administers. The claimant was compulsorily detained in hospital under section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in 2004. Following his discharge from hospital he has received various after-care services. The claimant's deputy funded the services between 2004 and 2013. The defendants have funded those services since 2013. The claimant by his deputy now seeks to recover the costs of the after-care services between 2004 and 2013 (including 18 months residential placement) on the grounds that the defendants are liable for the costs under section 117 of the 1983 Act. The defendants applied to strike out the claim as an abuse of process. The judge rejected that application. The defendants now appeal on two grounds: first, the claimant should have brought his claim by judicial review; secondly, the defendants' alleged non-compliance with section 117 of the 1983 Act does not entitle the claimant to recover damages for unjust enrichment or restitution. The first ground of appeal raises a clean point of law, capable of resolution on the basis of the pleadings. I decide that point against the defendants. The second ground of appeal (despite its formulation as a point of law) raises questions of fact which are hotly contested. This is not, therefore, suitable for resolution on an application to strike out. In the result, therefore, if my Lords agree, this appeal will be dismissed."

RM v St Andrew's Healthcare (2010) UKUT 119 (AAC)

Non-disclosure of covert medication

(1) When considering the "interests of justice" limb of rule 14(2), the key test to be applied is whether or not non-disclosure of the document or information would allow the patient to make an effective challenge to his detention. (2) On the facts, without knowing that he was being covertly medicated the patient would be unable effectively to challenge his detention; the non-disclosure decision was set aside and re-made. (3) Non-disclosure orders should not only be drafted in terms of documents, but also should deal, in a precise, clear and exhaustive way, with the information which should not be disclosed.

SLL v Priory Healthcare Limited (2019) UKUT 323 (AAC)

Inadequate reasons for not absolutely discharging

The patient challenged the tribunal's decision to grant a conditional, rather than absolute, discharge. (1) Ground 1: Failure properly to apply the two-stage process required by s73(1) and (2). The MHRT had decided (under s73(1)) that the s72(1)(b)(i) (appropriateness) test was not met, and had moved straight to s73(2) (absolute or conditional discharge) without considering s72(1)(b)(ii) (necessity) or s72(1)(b)(iia) (appropriate treatment). The UT decided that the statute permitted the tribunal to stop once it had decided that it was not satisfied of the first s72 test. However, s73(2) required the tribunal to make findings on substantially similar matters, albeit on a forward-looking basis, and to make a decision on the type of discharge on the basis of those findings. Without express findings (in particular in relation to potential medical treatment for any psychotic condition the patient may suffer from) and an explanation of how the relevant factors were weighed (including the two factors discussed below) it was not possible to be sure how the tribunal reached its decision. The UT gave guidance in paras 33-35 on the findings likely to be required when considering s73(2), and in para 47 on the appropriateness of treatment with no realistic prospect of therapeutic benefit. (2) Ground 2: Failure to give adequate reasons. The Appellant had presented credible expert evidence that risk could be managed by future Part 2 detention rather than the recall power, so it was incumbent on the Tribunal to explain why it was not persuaded by that evidence: instead, it had merely quoted another doctor's evidence (which stated that recall would be available but did not grapple with the Part 2 issue) and said that this evidence was "more apt". The Appellant had also argued that the setting of a psychiatric hospital was positively harmful, and the tribunal had failed to explain its rejection of this argument. Taken as a whole it was not adequately clear why the tribunal was not satisfied that it was inappropriate for the Appellant to continue to be liable to recall to hospital for further treatment.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (19 012 290a) (2020) MHLO 21 (LGSCO)

Section status and aftercare

"Summary: The Ombudsmen find there was fault by a Trust in giving a family incorrect information about a mental health patient’s status. When this came to light it caused the patient’s wife considerable stress which has not yet been fully addressed. The Ombudsmen also find that fault by a Council meant the patient’s wife suffered this stress for too long. The Ombudsmen has recommended small financial payments to act as an acknowledgement of the outstanding injustice."

Tinsley v Manchester City Council (2016) EWHC 2855 (Admin)

After-care payments and double recovery

"Thus there is a fundamental issue between the parties which they require the court to resolve, which is whether or not it is lawful for the defendant to refuse to provide after-care services to the claimant under s117 on the basis that he has no need of such provision because he is able to fund it himself from his personal injury damages. The claimant's position is that this is unlawful, and represents a thinly disguised attempt to charge through the back door in this particular category of cases when the House of Lords has confirmed in Stennett that it is impermissible to do so in any circumstances. The defendant's position is that to allow the claimant's deputy to claim the provision of after-care services on his behalf under s.117 would offend against the principle against double recovery which has been established in the decided cases in the personal injury field, most notably by the Court of Appeal in Crofton v NHSLA [2007] EWCA Civ 71B, [2007] 1 WLR 923B and Peters v East Midlands SHA [2009] EWCA Civ 145, [2010] QB 48B."

Tinsley v Manchester City Council (2017) EWCA Civ 1704

After-care payments and double recovery

"The question in this appeal is whether a person who has been compulsorily detained in a hospital for mental disorder under section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983 and has then been released from detention but still requires "after-care services" is entitled to require his local authority to provide such services at any time before he has exhausted sums reflecting the costs of care awarded to him in a judgment in his favour against a negligent tortfeasor."

Todd v Parsons (2019) EWHC 3366 (Ch)

Testamentary capacity

"The claim was opposed by the third defendant, challenging that will on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, want of knowledge and approval and undue influence. ... The traditional test for capacity is that laid down in Banks v Goodfellow (1870) LR 5 QB 549 ... In James v James [2018] WTLR 1313, I held that the traditional test still applied, and had not been replaced by that contained in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Neither party argued before me that the test should now be that contained in the 2005 Act, although the third defendant reserved the right to argue otherwise on appeal. ... In my judgment the 2008 will is valid."

Whittaker v Hancock & Ors (2018) EWHC 3478 (Ch)

LPA attorney as substituted personal representative

"The claimant has brought a claim under section 50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 to be appointed as substitute personal representative of the estate of John Parker in place of the second defendant, her mother, and for a caveat entered by the third defendant on 20 July 2016 to be removed. ... The third defendant is the deceased's daughter and opposes the claim. ... In a statement accompanying the Will, signed by the deceased and witnessed by a legal secretary the deceased explains that he has made no provision for the third defendant ... On 20 July 2016 the third defendant caused a caveat to be entered. She subsequently entered an appearance to the claimant's warning asserting that the 2003 Will may be invalid due to the deceased lacking testamentary capacity, being subject to undue influence and want of knowledge and approval. ... Mr Devereux-Cooke submits that I should make an order appointing the claimant as substitute personal representative for the second defendant. The claimant is the attorney for the second defendant, the LPA having been registered on 16 January 2014. The second defendant cannot consent to the claim as she lacks capacity. The first defendant does not oppose the claim. ... It is a general LPA in respect of property and financial affairs that is in wide terms enabling the claimant, as attorney, to make decisions about the second defendant's property and financial affairs. There are no conditions or restrictions specified in the instrument. ... It is also relevant that the second defendant is the sole beneficiary under the 2003 will. She is in a different position to a case where there are a number of beneficiaries. ... I accept Mr Devereux-Cooke's analysis that the claimant has standing to bring this claim under section 50. If I am wrong in my analysis I consider that the position could be remedied by adding the second defendant as a claimant and appointing the current claimant as her litigation friend. I also accept Mr Devereux-Cooke's analysis of rules 31 and 35 of the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987 and would have been prepared to treat the claim as including this as an alternative legal route, had it been necessary. ... I consider that in order for the deceased's estate to be administered it is necessary to substitute the claimant as personal representative in place of the second defendant."

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