Palmer v Tees Health Authority  EWCA Civ 1533
The proximity required for a duty of care as between a hospital and the victim of a patient only arises if the victim is a member of an identifiable at risk group. [MHLR.]
The summary below has been supplied by Kris Gledhill, Editor of the Mental Health Law Reports. The full report can be purchased from Southside Online Publishing (if there is a "file not found" error, it means this particular report is not yet available online). More similar case summaries from the year 1999 are available here: MHLR 1999.
Whether a hospital owed a duty of care to the family of a child killed by a mentally disordered man who was treated as an out-patient but not detained - Beverley Palmer v (1) Tees Health Authority (2) Hartlepool and East Durham NHS Trust  MHLR 106
Points Arising: The proximity required for a duty of care as between a hospital and the victim of a patient only arises if the victim is a member of an identifiable at risk group.
Facts and Outcome: A, who was diagnosed as having a personality disorder as a result of an abusive childhood, had admitted sexual feelings towards children during a hospital admission in June 1993; after discharge, whilst he was being seen as an outpatient, he sexually assaulted and murdered a child who lived in the same street. An action in negligence by the child’s mother BP against the hospital authorities for failing to diagnose and reduce the danger posed by A was struck out without a trial on the basis that there was insufficient proximity between the authorities and someone affected by the actions of a third party unless it was shown that the injured person was in an identifiable at risk group, which was not so. (In addition, BP failed the test for the recoverability of her own nervous shock injuries.)