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|Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (17 012 839a) (2019) MHLO 44 (LGSCO)||
Complaint about community care delay
LGSCO's summary: "The Ombudsmen do not consider Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust delayed providing support for Mrs X’s mental health needs. We have not found fault with the way the Council decided what support she needed. The Ombudsmen consider Derbyshire County Council delayed completing Mr X’s carer assessment and should have considered carrying out an integrated assessment with Mrs X. However, it has remedied the distress Mr X suffered."
|NHS Cumbria CCG v Rushton (2018) EWCOP 41||
Withdrawal of CANH; advance decision
"This is an application regarding the proposed withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration in respect of Mrs Jillian Rushton, who is now 85 years of age. Since sustaining a traumatic head injury in December 2015, Mrs Rushton has suffered from a prolonged period of disorder of consciousness. Insofar as a label is relevant, the consensus of medical opinion, in respect of which there is no dissent at all, is that she is in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). In their recent guidance, ‘Clinically-assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH) and adults who lack the capacity to consent’, the Royal College of Physicians and the British Medical Association have noted that the importance of obtaining a precise and definitive diagnosis has reduced. It is recognised by the Courts and clinicians that drawing a firm distinction between vegetative state and minimally conscious state is frequently both artificial and unnecessary. In practice, when assessing best interests, information about the patient’s current condition and prognosis for functional recovery and the level of confidence with which these can be evaluated is invariably of greater importance than a precise diagnosis. ... It perhaps requires to be said, though in my view it should be regarded as axiomatic, that the medical profession must give these advanced decisions the utmost care, attention and scrutiny. I am confident the profession does but I regret to say that I do not think sufficient care and scrutiny took place here. The lesson is an obvious one and needs no amplification. Where advanced decisions have been drawn up and placed with GP records there is an onerous burden on the GP to ensure, wherever possible, that they are made available to clinicians in hospital. By this I mean a copy of the decision should be made available and placed within the hospital records with the objective that the document should follow the patient. It need hardly be said that it will rarely, if ever, be sufficient to summarise an advance decision in a telephone conversation. ... The family have ... made it clear to me that she would not have regarded her present situation as tolerable. Whilst I have no doubt that she would understand the commitment of her son, Tim and his profound resistance to letting her go, I have equally no doubt that she would want to be let go and I have no hesitation in concluding that it is my responsibility to respect this."
|R (JF) v London Borough of Merton (2017) EWHC 1519 (Admin)||
Needs assessment; accommodation change
"The Claimant has the benefit of anonymity and will be referred to as JF. He has Autism Spectrum Disorder and severe learning difficulties. As a result, he requires adult residential care with specialist support. ... The Claimant relies upon two grounds of review, contending that: (i) LBM failed to undertake a lawful assessment of his needs in breach of statutory duties under the Care Act 2014 and associated Regulations, namely the Care and Support (Assessment) Regulations 2014 SI 2827, and the Care and Support (Choice of Accommodation) Regulations 2014 SI 2670. (ii) LBM has unlawfully decided to change or to propose to change his accommodation from the David Lewis College in Cheshire, where he has resided since 2012 to Aspen Lodge in Sussex, a residence run by Sussex Health Care. The Claimant contends that LBM has based its decision to prefer the Lodge unlawfully and predominantly upon a Pre-Admission Assessment dated 26 February 2016 and prepared by the Lodge. That document contains the conclusion that the Lodge is suitable and can adequately meet JF's needs. The Claimant alleges that it is an inadequate basis for moving him from his current accommodation."
|R (Western Health and Social Care Trust) v Secretary of State for Health (2018) NIQB 67||
"The impugned determination is that of the [Secretary of State for Health of England and Wales] to the effect that a lady whom I shall describe as CM (aged 32 years) is 'ordinarily resident' in Northern Ireland and has been thus since 2009, with the result that the care management and funding responsibilities for her have fallen on the Trust, rather than [the London Borough of Enfield], since that date. In very brief compass, lying at the heart of this challenge is a funding dispute between the Trust and Enfield."
|Rotherham Doncaster & South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (18 010 101a) (2019) MHLO 43 (LGSCO)||
Failure to carry out carer's assessment
LGSCO's summary of decision: "The Trust and Council were at fault in not carrying out a carer’s assessment and not involving Mrs S during her husband’s period of treatment. There was also fault in record-keeping and delays in responding to the complaint. These failings caused an injustice to Mrs S as she lost the opportunity for additional support and is likely to have suffered additional distress. The Trust and Council have already taken action to address these failings and improve processes. The Trust and Council have agreed to pay Mrs S financial redress and the Trust has agreed to monitor and report on improvements in its complaints handling."