R (Dyer) v Welsh Ministers [2015] EWHC 3712 (Admin), [2015] MHLO 109

"In this claim, the Claimant challenges an alleged failure by the public authorities responsible for the National Health Service in Wales to discharge the duty imposed upon them by section 3(1) of the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 to provide hospital accommodation 'throughout Wales, to such extent as they consider necessary to meet all reasonable requirements'. In particular, she contends that the duty has been breached because no decision has been taken by any authority as to either (i) the 'reasonable requirements' of women in Wales with ASD and LD for secure in-patient assessment and treatment; or (ii) the level of provision necessary to meet the reasonable requirements found to exist. Indeed, the relevant authorities have not only failed to make those decisions, it is said that they have failed to collate the information required to make them; and so they are not even in a position to make properly informed (and, therefore, lawful) decisions. That is the legal basis of the claim. However, the concern of the Claimant and her family underlying the claim is more personal and practical in nature. The last time the Claimant required compulsory detention on account of her mental condition was in August 2014 when, because there was no appropriate and available facility in Wales, she was sent to a hospital in Brighton where she was detained for some weeks. ... However, this court can intervene only if a decision-making authority has acted unlawfully. For the reasons I have given, none of the Defendants has done so in this case."


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 2016 are available here: MHLR 2016.

Whether there was an unlawful failure by the authorities to provide low secure mental health facilities so that the needs of the claimant would not involve her placement a significant distance away from her home - R (Claire Dyer) (by her mother and litigation friend Catherine Dyer) v (1) The Welsh Ministers, (2) Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, University Health Board, (3) Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee – [2016] MHLR 223

Points Arising: The duty as to service provision under the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 was a general duty in public law and did not give rise to an individual entitlement to a particular level of service provision.

Facts and Outcome: The High Court dismissed a claim which centred on the lack of local provision in Wales for a woman whose complex needs had led to her being placed in Brighton: it was determined that the statutory regime was not suitable to create an individual entitlement to service provision and that no public law duties had been breached in relation to collating data as to service provision or in making service provision decisions.

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