Unseemly turf wars and uncoordinated care

By Jenny Kitzinger, 16th December 2020 The hearing I attended on Wednesday 9th December 2020 (Case: 13382192 before District Judge Tindal), was about Mr G, an individual in his early 60s with frontal lobe disorder, diabetes and other medical issues. He wants to leave the acquired brain injury [ABI] care centre that he originally entered almost aContinue reading “Unseemly turf wars and uncoordinated care”

Is it lawful for Z’s carers to support him in accessing a sex worker?

Z would not be able to make arrangements to visit a sex worker, or pay her, without the support of his team. The Local Authority and CCG have agreed that implementation of a carefully thought through sexual contact care plan to help Z access a sex worker would be in his best interests and they were prepared to commission a care plan. However, they would do this only if the Court would make a declaration that the care plan would be lawful and that no offense would be committed by the care workers in light of s. 39 Sexual Offences Act 2003, which criminalises actions that intentionally ‘cause or incite’ sexual activity involving a person who has a mental disorder, by a person involved in that person’s care.

Waiving anonymity to promote care home visiting rights

The intention of the transparency order is to protect the person’s privacy and this is what many people who become “P”s in the Court of Protection want (or would have wanted). For others, though, their Article 8 right to privacy may be outweighed by the competing interest of their Article 10 to right to freedom of speech and open scrutiny of the circumstances in which they have been placed.

Disability, Social (In)visibility, and the Importance of Open Justice

“…t is my view that society should be made aware of how it treats its disabled members – and that ‘social invisibility’ is a form of willful ignorance, and an unjust privilege. Oppression thrives in darkness, and it is most efficient and effective in silence and in isolation…”

A parent’s reflection on “Michael” – a young man with complex needs and no suitable placement

I have been my son’s care coordinator for many years. In our experience there is little or no communication between agencies. Even though I worked in health and social care services for years, I found that the system is like a maze and sourcing every provision has been a battle. Young people fall through the net. I hope adult services offer Michael the chance of stability and safety in his life and suggest that the next care coordinator ensures that his voice is heard and his family are involved.

An unsuitable placement approved by the Court

The decision of the court was to move him, that afternoon, to yet another placement which – counsel had acknowledged from the outset – is not really suitable for him. It was a disappointing outcome. As the judge said in his oral judgment: “None of this seems to me to be entirely satisfactory”.

Challenging Reporting Restrictions in the Court of Protection

“Something has plainly gone wrong in this case. The public, particularly the taxpayers who fund the local authority with responsibility for KB’s welfare, have a right to know the name of the local authority. In the real world, people won’t try to work out KB’s identity, they’ll moan about the council: and they should be able to do that. If the local authority isn’t named, residents can’t tweet their concerns; people can’t tell newspapers that they’ve also had issues; the local MP can’t ask questions; even the councillors on the local authority may not know that the local authority involved is their local authority: they certainly can’t debate the issue at a public meeting”

Inviting family into the decision-making process

“I watched as Mr Justice Hayden, with calmness, clarity and compassion deconstructed this fallacy, with the simple but sensitive prompt of “making the decision for him, not for you”. I flatter myself that I have effective communication skills but admit to being unexpectedly moved by watching the judge in action.”

Refusing kidney dialysis – a daughter’s reflections

“When I asked for access to observe a hearing in the Court of Protection, I had no idea how close to home the key issue would turn out to be. …. The person at the centre of the case, AI, has end stage kidney disease. .. he’ll probably refuse to come back in for dialysis. This could mean that he dies…. My father died just over a year ago (in his mid 70s) because he, too, refused dialysis.”

Accountability for the rape of a vulnerable woman

“KB could not comprehend that a baby was growing inside of her. As a result of her learning difficulties, she was unable to verbalise beyond an occasional yes/no and it was deemed that she would not be able to undergo a vaginal birth. In his judgment, Mr Justice Poole said that the evidence shows that KB’s lack of understanding is “profound”