Man who fell off roof ‘cannot return home’

family law

A man who suffered serious injuries after a fall from his roof cannot return home, the Court of Protection has heard.

The 32 year-old suffered brain damage and a severe spinal injury in the fall and was left as a quadriplegic. The injuries he sustained appeared to have had a negative effect on his personality and some of his thought processes.

As a result of these changes and his behaviour, the people who cared for him at his home “became increasingly reluctant” to continue. When his condition worsened, he was admitted to a specialist hospital.

The treatment and care he received while there cost the local authority about £3,000 per week. However if the man returned home again, as he now wished to, the cost of his care would increase significantly to £9,000 per week. His local council would have to triple the amount of money it spent on him annually from £156,000 if he remained in hospital to £468,000 at home.

At the Court of Protection, representatives from the local authority claimed such an expense would represent around 1.5 per cent of its total annual budget for adult social care, which would be “unsustainable in the long term”. They claimed that even allowing him to return home for a short period of time would not be a good idea because “if it is successful and in his best interests to return home, the cost will continue”. It would therefore be unfair to the man to allow his return if “there is a real risk that the care package would not continue to be funded”.

Although the man said the cost outlined by the local authority was “a bit steep”, he thought it was “a bit unfair to leave me in a care home just because of how much it costs”.

Mr Justice Holman said there was “a very open and difficult question as to whether or not this patient does lack capacity to make decisions with regard to his residence and care”. In order to determine the answer to that question he scheduled hearings for late November. However, the judge warned that, regardless of the outcome, the man “may have very little room for capacitous choice” about his care due to the significant costs involved.

Read A Local Authority v X here.

Photo by Elias Gayles via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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