Hull City Council v A & Ors [2021] EWCOP 60

This was an application to the court by the Local Authority for authority to remove A from her home and transfer her to a residential care home, at least for an interim period.

A was a 76-year-old woman living in her own home who had late-onset vascular dementia complicated with agitation, anxiety disorder and psychosis. One of A’s four sons, B, the Second Respondent, lived with her. A was cared for primarily by B but with significant support from carers visiting A’s home at least three times a day. In the early summer of 2021, she also began attending a day centre. However, apparently in response to consideration of A being vaccinated to protect her against the Covid-19 virus, B’s behaviour changed in mid-August 2021. He cancelled all care and support for A within the home and he stopped A visiting the day centre. B had a history of violence and drug use and he had become increasingly hostile to visits from social workers and other visitors such that no professional has been permitted by him to enter A’s home since 30 September 2021. A social worker and her team manager attempted to visit A at her house on 20 October 2021 to deliver funds. B became angry and accused them of stealing money from A. A was seen at the doorway and the social worker asked A if she was ok. B shut the door before she could answer. She appeared to the social worker to be frightened and B could be heard shouting from within the house. Anxiety about B’s behaviour and the impact of his conduct on A led to the Local Authority making the application.

At a hearing on 29 October 2021, balancing all the factors in the case, Mr Justice Poole was not satisfied that it was in A’s best interests then to make the orders sought by the Local Authority. He decided that further steps should be taken before such orders should be contemplated, and ordered that B should allow a health and welfare check to be conducted at A’s home for up to one hour on reasonable notice without B present in the same room. An attempt was made on 1 November 2021 to carry out the health and welfare check, but B prevented this from happening. At a further hearing on 2 November 2021 Mr Justice Poole concluded that it was now in A’s best interests to be moved from her home to a residential home at least for an interim period.

The full judgement can be read here

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