Supreme Court to rule on care conflict

family law

The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict next week on dispute regarding the funding of visits to a disabled man.

N v ACCG and others concerns ‘MN’, a man in his 20s who suffers from “profound disabilities” and lacks capacity to make his own decisions or take his own legal action. He has lived in a residential care home since his late teens. When he turned 18, the local NHS group took over funding of his placement from the family’s local authority.

MN’s parents had been reluctant to agree to his move into the residential placement and wanted him to be able to visit them at home. His mother also wanted to help physically care for her son while visiting him at the residential home.

But the NHS group would not fund the additional carers that would be required for home visits and also forbade the mother from helping her son’s nurses.

The Court of Protection later declined to rule on whether or not the home visits sought by his parents would be in MN’s best interests, saying that since home visits were not an available option it lacked the jurisdiction to do so.

The father launched an appeal, claiming his human rights had been violated.

The Supreme Court ruling will focus on the following issues:

“1/ Whether a commissioning body [the NHS group in this case] can, by its decision not to fund a particular option for contact [visits], remove the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection to make a best interests decision about contact?

2/ Whether the failure to conduct a best interests assessment and/or determine the facts breached [the father]’s rights under the [European Convention on Human Rights] to a fair trial and a family life?”

The Court’s verdict will be released on March 22.

Read more here.

Photo by David Holt via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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