The definition of aftercare
Section 117 (as amended by the Care Act 2014) provides the following definition:
In this section, ‘after-care services’, in relation to a person, means services which have both of the following purposes—
- (a) meeting a need arising from or related to the person’s mental disorder; and
- (b) reducing the risk of a deterioration of the person’s mental condition (and, accordingly, reducing the risk of the person requiring admission to a hospital again for treatment for mental disorder).
Case law from before the statutory definition had considered the scope of aftercare generally (Clunis v Camden & Islington Health AuthorityB) and in relation to accommodation in particular (it only covered ‘enhanced specialised accommodation’: R (Afework) v LB Camden M).
The Code of Practice states (para 33.4):
CCGs and local authorities should interpret the definition of after-care services broadly. For example, after-care can encompass healthcare, social care and employment services, supported accommodation and services to meet the person’s wider social, cultural and spiritual needs, if these services meet a need that arises directly from or is related to the particular patient’s mental disorder, and help to reduce the risk of a deterioration in the patient’s mental condition.
In the Tribunal context, a s117 authority is under a duty to use reasonable endeavours to fulfil conditions which are part of a deferred conditional discharge decision (R (B) v Camden London Borough CouncilM).