GL v Elysium Healthcare  UKUT 308 (AAC)
Unlawful refusal to adjourn telephone hearing It was wrong for the tribunal to have proceeded with the telephone hearing because: (1) the tribunal had, without investigation, assumed that the patient's flatmate (with whom he was self-isolating to avoid coronavirus) could not overhear; (2) the tribunal had improperly dealt with the patient's anxiety: either it had concluded, without investigation, that the anxiety was without foundation (when he had in fact previously been assaulted because other patients discovered his history), or it had believed the same anxiety would arise at a future hearing (when in fact it arose from the specific circumstances that day); the tribunal should have considered whether his anxiety was genuine and, if so, the impact on his ability to participate; (3) the tribunal had wrongly approached the adjournment request as if the patient had been concerned with the mode of hearing (i.e. telephone) rather than the fear of being overheard that day.
Thanks to Karen Wolton of Wolton & Co Solicitors (solicitor for the patient) for sending this decision.
- Judgment on Gov.uk website. Published on 8/12/20 with the following summary: "The First-tier Tribunal erred in proceeding with a hearing in the patient’s absence, where he refused to attend because he was concerned that his flatmate could overhear him participating in a telephone hearing."