March 2021 update

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  • Magic Book. The Magic Book is a database of contact details. The main idea is to add the hospitals and other places you visit (not just your own place of work). To create/edit contacts, there is no need to log in and the process is very quick and simple. See Magic Book
  • Mental Health Law Online CPD scheme: 12 points for £60. Obtain 12 CPD points online by answering monthly questionnaires. The scheme is an ideal way to obtain your necessary hours, or to evidence your continued competence. It also helps to support the continued development of this website, and your subscriptions (and re-subscriptions) are appreciated. For full details and to subscribe, see CPD scheme.
  • Cases. By the end of this month, Mental Health Law Online contained 2124 categorised cases


  • Case (Ordinary residence and s117). R (Worcestershire County Council v SSHSC [2021] EWHC 682 (Admin) — The patient was detained under s3 in Worcestershire (Area 1), discharged to residential care in Swindon (Area 2), detained again under s3 in Swindon and discharged again. The DHSC argued that Worcestershire retained s117 responsibility throughout, based on three propositions: (a) the patient remains ordinarily resident in Area 1, applying R (Cornwall Council v SSH [2015] UKSC 46; (b) in the alternative, "immediately before being detained" in s117 means "immediately before being first detained"; (c) in the further alternative, Area 1's duty continued throughout the second detention. The High Court rejected all three propositions (in relation to the third, noting that a s117 duty continues until a s117(2) decision, even during a second detention, but that the continuation does not affect the position upon leaving hospital).
  • Case (Dishonest personal injury claim). Smith v London Borough of Haringey [2021] EWHC 615 (QB) — The claimant had been attacked by a patient while on duty as team leader. The judge decided that she would be entitled to damages of £2,587.50, but dismissed her claim in its entirety because her fundamental dishonesty had meant a simple low value personal injury claim had developed into a serious injury claim for over £600,000.
  • Case (Death - child). NHS Trust v Parents and S [2021] EWHC 594 (Fam) — Five options for the treatment of a 9-month-old baby were presented to the court: (1) continuing the current regime; (2) continuing with intensive ventilation and support care but not escalating treatment if he deteriorates further; (3) extubating him but re-intubating him if he cannot manage; (4) extubating him and giving him Vapotherm or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) if he cannot manage, rather than re-intubating him; (5) withdrawing life sustaining treatment and giving palliative care. His parents argued for option 2. The Trust and Children's Guardian argued for option 5, and the judge decided that this would be in his best interests: "I understand and respect the parents' views, including their religious views (which no doubt S would share) but it is not in his best interests to put him through so much simply to keep him alive even if he is able to experience some comfort from being looked after by his parents. If he were able to express any wishes about this it is difficult to believe he would choose this sort of existence for himself."
  • Case (Southern Irish case - transfer of sentenced person). S v Minister for Justice [2020] IEHC 632 — The Southern Irish High Court decided that the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Act 1995 applies to a person who for reasons of mental condition has been held not criminally responsible for the commission of an offence. The applicant was therefore eligible for transfer out of the State, and the Minister's refusal was set aside.


  • DNACPR review. CQC, 'Protect, respect, connect - decisions about living and dying well during COVID-19' (18/3/21) — Extract from press release: "A new report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found worrying variation in people’s experiences of do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) decisions during the pandemic. While there were some examples of good practice, CQC also heard from people who were not properly involved in decisions, or were unaware that such an important decision about their care had been made."
  • COPUG minutes. Minutes of Court User Group Meeting (8/10/20) — (1) Apologies; (2) Minutes and action points; (3) Operations Manager's report; (4) Delivery Manager's report; (5) Update from the Mental Capacity Policy Team; (6) Current arrangements during pandemic; (7) Current statistics; (8) Court of Protection hearings inbox; (9) Digital developments; (10) Property and affairs deputy seeking to raise welfare issues; (11) AOB. The next meeting was arranged for 14/4/21.
  • Mental capacity law newsletter. 39 Essex Chambers, 'Mental Capacity Report' (issue 112, March 2021) — "Highlights this month include: (1) In the Health, Welfare and Deprivation of Liberty Report: two cases each on vaccination, how long to keep going with life-sustaining treatment and obstetric arrangements, and important decisions on both family life and sexual relations; (2) In the Property and Affairs Report: Mostyn J takes on marriage, ademption and foreign law, and updates from the OPG; (3) In the Practice and Procedure Report: reasonable adjustments for deaf litigants and a new edition of the Equal Treatment Bench book; (4) In the Wider Context Report: DNACPR [Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation] guidance from NHS England, NICE [National Institute for Health and Care Excellence] safeguarding guidance, reports on law reform proposals of relevance around the world and (an innovation) a film review to accompany book reviews and research corner; (5) In the Scotland Report: Scottish Parliamentary elections, Child Trust funds and analogies to be drawn from cases involving children."
  • Leave guidance. Mental Health Casework Section, 'Section 17 - leave of absence' (December 2020) — "This document sets out information for medical professional considering applications for community leave under section 17 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA). This guide provides valuable information to help ensure the safe management of restricted patients whilst detained in hospital and help prepare them for subsequent life in the community when discharged." Alternative titles: "Leave guidance" ( web page) and "MHCS Leave Guidance for Medical Professionals" (link title on


  • Event. Event:COPPA: Elder financial abuse investigated (online, 23/3/21) — "A training event hosted by London CoPPA discussing practical steps to trace assets for protected parties subject to financial abuse. An essential webinar for deputies and professionals looking after the financial affairs of older clients." Speakers: Ann Stanyer (Wedlake Bell LLP) and Paul Smith (Paul Smith Consultancy). Time: 5.00pm to 6.30pm. Cost: free to members; £20 for non-members. Please register your interest by emailing:
  • Event. Event:National Mental Capacity Forum: Rapid Response Webinar no.8 (online, 22/3/21) — "The 8th NMCF rapid response webinar will be an occasion to pause and take stock of progress in using the MCA to face the challenges occasioned by the pandemic - the good, the bad and the ugly. Topics will include: new arrangements for care home visitors; challenges associated with the transition from childhood to adulthood; overcoming barriers to understanding." Speakers include HHJ Carolyn Hilder. Chaired by Baroness Ilora Finlay. Time: 1230-1330. Cost: free. See event page on Zoom website for further details and booking information.
  • Event. Event:MHLO: Annual Review 2020 meeting (online, 26/3/21) — Roger Pezzani (Garden Court Chambers) and Alex Ruck Keene (39 Essex Chambers) will discuss recent events, including: (1) How has the MHA held up under pandemic pressure? (2) Why is the MHA/MCA interface so difficult? (3) Where is the law going? Cost: free. Time: 10am to 1pm. To register, please subscribe to the "MHLO Annual Review 2020 meeting" email list on the email updates page. You will be sent login details for the event nearer the time.

Social media

Nothing to report this month.

Other items

=Has been added to MHLO
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