Harrison v South Tyneside Council (2013) EWLandRA 2012 0866, [2013] MHLO 72

"For some years prior to his death, Mr. Jackson suffered from dementia... By the middle of 2007, Mr. Jackson was no longer able to live alone at his home and he was placed by the council in residential accommodation... In doing so, the council was acting under Part III of the National Assistance Act 1948. Under section 21(1) of that Act, it was required it to make arrangements for providing residential accommodation for persons aged 18 or over who by reason of age, illness, disability or any other circumstances are in need of care and attention which is not otherwise available to them. In my judgment, Mr. Jackson did avail himself of the accommodation despite his lack of capacity. It was accommodation which he required to receive the necessary care and attention not otherwise available to him and the fact that he lacked capacity to understand that does not mean that he did not avail himself of it within the meaning of the statute. I would add that if that were not the case, then the provision of the accommodation would in the circumstances have been a necessary either at common law or under section 7 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and he would have been obliged to pay a reasonable price for it, which would have been recoverable from his estate (Wychavon District Council v EM [2012] UKUT 12 (AAC)). Mr. Harrison, like others before him in similar cases, has sought to contend that the council was not in fact acting under those powers but was acting unlawfully both because Mr. Jackson’s dementia was so severe that he required to be provided for by the NHS, and indeed ought to have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, because he lacked capacity to consent to being admitted to the care home, and because he had no need of accommodation because he already had his own home. These points are misconceived and self-contradictory." [Summary required; detailed external summary available.]

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