Alex Ruck Keene et al, 'Mental Capacity Report - End of term update' (39 Essex Chambers, 1/4/21)
Mental Capacity Report note There is no April 2021 Mental Capacity Report, but this "end of term update" briefly lists nine key developments in relation to: (1) three COP decisions; (2) e-filing of DOL cases; (3) OPG rapid register search service; (4) supported living and care home guidance; (5) CQC DNACPR report; (6) parental consent to puberty blockers; (7) removal of Care Act "easements"; (8) Worcestershire s117 guidance case; (9) EU settlement scheme.
For a number of reasons (mainly related to our need to have a break!) a Mental Capacity Report is not going to be landing in your inboxes this month, but rest assured that we will be back in May. In the meantime, and by way of end of term email, here are some key developments recently we wanted to draw to your attention.
- The Court of Protection has handed down a further decision about vaccination (Re CR M), a particularly poignant decision about withdrawing life-sustaining treatment, harm and dignity (Re Lilia M), and a very interesting case navigating capacity in the context of autism and indoctrination: Re EOA M.
- The CoP has launched e-filing in relation to deprivation of liberty cases.
- The OPG has launched a rapid register search service for public sector organisations making urgent decisions.
- Updated guidance has been published in relation to supported living settings and COVID-19, as well as a guidance for testing for professionals going into care homes.
- The CQC has published its report on decision-making in relation to DNACPR recommendations during the pandemic to date (spoiler alert: it makes chilling reading), and Alex has updated his shedinar on getting advance care planning right in the medical treatment context.
- The High Court has determined that parents can consent to prescription of puberty blockers on behalf of their Gillick competent children in certain circumstances, and without necessarily needing to come to court: AB v CD & Ors M.
- The ‘easements’ in the Care Act 2014 have been removed in relation to England.
- The High Court has held (in essence) that the DHSC’s statutory Care Act guidance in relation to s.117 MHA 1983 and aftercare was correct and the DHSC’s subsequent change of policy unlawful: R(Worcestershire County Council) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care M.
- A reminder of the importance of supporting those with impaired decision-making capacity to access the EU settlement scheme ahead of the June deadline. The guidance for local authorities is here.
Alex has given some thoughts on the cases noted above on his website, but fuller commentary will be forthcoming on each of them (and any other relevant decisions) in the Report.
We appreciate that it may well be an empty wish for many to wish you a break over Easter, but, at least in England, do please enjoy being outside without reasonable excuse!