R v LB Richmond, ex p Watson [1999] EWHC Admin 749

Claimants' accommodation must be provided under section 117(2) and not under s21 National Assistance Act 1948; s117 not a gateway section; it follows that the Respondents are not entitled to charge the Applicants for their accommodation.

Related judgments

R (Stennett) v Manchester City Council [2002] UKHL 34


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 after-care services provided to formerly detained psychiatric patients under s117 Mental Health Act 1983, including accommodation, are to be provided free under that section, or whether it was a gateway to services provided under other statutes for which charges are to be made - R v LB Richmond ex p W; R v Redcar and Cleveland BC ex p A; R v Manchester City Council ex p S; R v LB Harrow ex p C [1999] MHLR 149

Points Arising: Aftercare services provided to patients to whom s117 Mental Health Act 1983 applies are provided under that section (rather than it being a gateway to provision under other community care statutes) and so (i) the charging provisions of community care statutes do not apply and (ii) the absence of a charging provision means that they have to be provided free.

Facts and Outcome: In linked cases raising as a point of law whether aftercare services (in the form of residential accommodation – including that where people were required to live by the terms of a guardianship order imposed on leaving hospital) provided by reason of s117 Mental Health Act 1983 could be charged for on the basis that s117 was merely a gateway to services actually provided under s21 National Assistance Act 1948 (for which means-tested charging was obligatory), it was held that s117 imposed a free-standing obligation to provide aftercare and that no charges could be imposed for them.


R (Watson) v LB Richmond; R (Armstrong) v Redcar and Cleveland BC; R (Stennett) v Manchester CC; R (Cobham) v LB Harrow [1999] EWHC Admin 749

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