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Recent updates on website

* To help clear a backlog of updates, some news items will be added to the Updates page without being added anywhere else on the website (for now), and will be marked with asterisks.

  • 17/04/14 (1): Conference. The York Chronic Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre and Court of Protection Practitioners' Association are jointly holding a conference on Friday 9/5/14 at the University of York entitled 'Withholding and Withdrawing Treatment from Patients in a Vegetative or Minimally Conscious State'. Price: Free to COPPA members and staff and University of York students; £30 to others. CPD: SRA and BSB accreditation sought. See flyer for further details and booking information. See Events
  • 15/04/14 (1): Taking Stock conference. The 2013 Annual 'Taking Stock' Conference (The Mental Health and Mental Capacity Acts in Practice) will take place at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester on Friday 17/10/13 from 9.30am to 4.00pm. The speakers are: Neil Allen (Thoughts on the New Code); Yogi Amin (Benevolence - How does this fit in to the Test for Liberty?); Phil Fennell (The Myth of Consent in Psychiatry); Camilla Parker (The Mental Health Care of Children and Young People - A minor concern?); Alison Yung (Early Intervention in Psychosis - Evidence and Evidence Gaps); plus a key-note speaker to be confirmed. CPD: SRA accreditation sought. Price: £125; £100 for bookings confirmed before 27/6/14; concessions for voluntary sector organisations. See flyer for further information about the programme and speakers, and for booking information. See Events
  • 10/04/14 (2): Care Quality Commission, 'Briefing for providers on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards' (4/4/14). See CQC website *
  • 10/04/14 (1): Alex Ruck Keene and Catherine Dobson, 'Deprivation of liberty in the hospital setting' (39 Essex Street, 10/4/14). See 39 Essex Street website *
  • 07/04/14 (3): Tristan Donovan, 'Court of Protection adds weight to social worker evidence in mental capacity assessments' (Community Care, 4/4/14). This article relates to the 7/11/13 version of form COP3. See Court of Protection forms
  • 07/04/14 (2): Community care case. R (LH) v Shropshire Council (2014) EWCA Civ 404, (2014) MHLO 18 — "This is an appeal about the extent of consultation required when a local authority reconfigures its day care services for citizens in its area and then decides to close a day centre. LH is 63 years old, has a learning disability, has been assessed as having substantial care needs and has been using the services of Hartleys Day Centre in Shrewsbury. Shropshire Council ("the Council") has decided to close that day centre as a result of its re-thinking of day centre care in the county; that re-thinking is itself a result partly of budgetary constraints and partly of encouragement from central Government to give disabled people their own personalised budget for spending in relation to their disability. The Council contends that it consulted generally about the new system which it brought in and made clear that some day centres would close; LH contends by JL (her litigation friend and sister) that LH and others should have been consulted in relation to the closure of Hartleys itself before it occurred. There is also an allegation of failure to comply with the statutory Public Sector Equality Duty ("PSED") as contained in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 ("the 2010 Act"). ... my own conclusion is that the omission to consult the users and relatives on the closure of Hartleys Day Centre before it was decided to close it was indeed unlawful. ... If I had held that the Council had complied with their duty to consult at common law, I would not have held that there was a breach of the statutory duty under the Equality Act. ... I would therefore allow this appeal and (subject to any written observations from the parties on the terms of the declaration before hand down) formally declare that, in breach of its common law duty, the Council failed to consult the users of Hartleys Day Centre and their carers before deciding to close the centre."
  • 07/04/14 (1): Mind, 'The effects of changes to Legal Aid' (April 2014). (1) Mind has posted a survey on its website to find out how legal aid cuts introduced by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 are affecting people with mental health problems. It will also be used to respond to the call for evidence for the Justice Committee. The survey can be completed by those with experience of mental health problems, whether themselves or as a friend, advocate, family member or carer. (2) Additionally, Mind would like to hear from lawyers and those providing advice or support or services to people with mental health conditions in relation to how those advised and represented have been affected (ideally with case studies). Responses to Andy Kempster ( by 23/4/14. See Mind (Charity)
  • 06/04/14 (1): CPD. Questionnaires for February and March 2014 have been uploaded. Obtain 12 CPD points online for £60: see CPD scheme for details.
  • 02/04/14 (1): The Mental Health Lawyers Association have organised a further two-day panel course in London on Monday 12/5/14 and Tuesday 13/5/14 (the April course in London having sold out, and the Law Society having announced that 13/6/14 is the latest date for an application to the panel to be guaranteed to be decided by 1/8/14). The course will also be held in Newcastle on Tuesday 22/4/14 and Wednesday 23/4/14. Price: £300 (members); £390 (non-members); £250 (for third and subsequent members in a group). CPD: 12 SRA-accredited hours. See MHLA website for further details. See Events
  • 24/03/14 (2): Community care case. R (Cornwall Council) v SSH (2014) EWCA Civ 12, (2014) MHLO 17(1) In deciding the ordinary residence of an adult lacking capacity the Secretary of State had erred in applying 'test 1' from the Vale case (that a person who is so severely handicapped as to be totally dependent upon a parent or guardian in the same position as a small child and his ordinary residence is that of his parents or guardian because that is his base). (2) Instead, the words 'ordinary residence' should, unless the context indicates otherwise, be given their ordinary and natural meaning. (3) There is much to be said for the court adopting in the context of severely incapacitated adults a test of ordinary residence similar to the test of habitual residence adopted for dependent children in Re A (namely where he is integrated into a social and family environment). (3) On the facts, the person was ordinarily resident in South Gloucestershire (where he lived) rather than Cornwall (where his parents lived).
  • 24/03/14 (1): MHLA panel course. The Mental Health Lawyers Association will be running their successful two-day course for membership of the Law Society's Mental Health Accreditation Scheme (formerly the MHRT panel) in Newcastle on Tuesday 22/4/14 and Wednesday 23/4/14. The course will also be held in London on Monday 28/4/14 and Tuesday 29/4/14. Price: £300 (members); £390 (non-members); £250 (for third and subsequent members in a group). CPD: 12 SRA-accredited hours. See MHLA website for further details. See Events
  • 20/3/14 (1): Deprivation of liberty. Cheshire West and Chester Council v P (2014) UKSC 19, (2014) MHLO 16(1) The 'acid test' for deprivation of liberty is whether the person is under continuous supervision and control and is not free to leave. (2) The following are not relevant: (a) the person's compliance or lack of objection; (b) the relative normality of the placement (whatever the comparison made); and (c) the reason or purpose behind a particular placement. (3) Because of the extreme vulnerability of people like P, MIG and MEG, decision-makers should err on the side of caution in deciding what constitutes a deprivation of liberty.

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