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R (B) v Camden London Borough Council [2005] EWHC 1366 (Admin)

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(1) Claimant unsuccessfully sought damages for breach of statutory duty under s117 causing delay after deferred conditional discharge. (2) A person who 'may be in need of such services' under s47 NHSCCA 1990 is a person 'who may be in need at the time, or who may be about to be in need': (a) this includes the situation after a deferred conditional discharge decision; (b) obiter, the judge inclined to the view that it also includes a patient who may reasonably be considered to be liable to have such an order made in an impending tribunal hearing.

Extract

66. In my judgment, the words "a person … may be in need of such services" refer to a person who may be in need at the time, or who may be about to be in need. A detained patient who is the subject of a deferred conditional discharge decision of a tribunal, which envisages his conditional discharge once section 117 after-care services are in place, is a person who "may be in need of such services", since if such services are available to him he will be discharged and immediately need them. Whether a patient who may reasonably be considered to be liable to have such an order made in an impending tribunal hearing is an issue I do not have to decide in the instant case, but I incline to the view that he is.

Notes

No damages would have been awarded anyway as defendants not the detaining authority (obiter). But see TTM v LB Hackney [2011] EWCA Civ 4.

Related cases

R (B) v London Borough of Camden [2006] EWCA Civ 246

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