Re GM; FP v GM and A Health Board  EWHC 2778 (COP)
This was an application for a DOLS standard authorisation to be discharged, thus permitting GM, on discharge from hospital, to return to his home rather than be sent to an EMI home. (1) For there to be an order preventing GM from returning home (in practice, permanently) it would have to be 'so contrary to his interests to return that the court must not even contemplate seriously a placement' at home. (2) Factors in favour of a return home included: the 'emotional dimension'; GM's short life expectancy, and the fact that a move to EMI accommodation would be permanent; and Article 8 considerations. (3) Factors against were: the probability of a lesser quality of physical care at home; the risk of risk of breakdown and conflict; and the risk of deterioration, for instance in sleep pattern. (4) The DOLS authorisation was discharged. (5) As GM was ready for discharge from hospital, and the decision would have permanent effect, Hedley J decided the issue in one day in January instead of waiting for a five-day hearing in May (before a DJ) or October (before a High Court judge). He commented that 'it seems to me that it is absolutely essential that the Court of Protection establishes a practice that these interim cases must be dealt with quickly, and, having regard to the demands on the system generally, proportionately, that is to say almost certainly without detailed oral evidence.'
Hearing: 21/1/11 (ex tempore judgment)
Before: Hedley J
Mr Stockwell appeared on behalf of the Applicant
Mr Allen appeared on behalf of the Health Board
Mr Gatenby appeared on behalf of the Official Solicitor
P v M (Vulnerable Adult)
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