Vulnerable woman with complex health problems cannot leave care facility, judge decides

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A 56-year-old woman with complex physical and mental health problems cannot be allowed to leave a care facility and return to her flat, a judge in a specialist court has ruled.

The woman wanted to go home and be looked after by her son.

But Judge Carolyn Hilder has decided that her healthcare needs cannot be met at home.

The judge has outlined her decision in a ruling after analysing the case at a hearing in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions are considered, in London.

She said the woman could not be identified in media reports of the case.

Social services bosses at Hackney Council in London, who have welfare responsibilities for the woman, had asked the judge to make decisions about living arrangements.

Staff from the office of the Official Solicitor, who help vulnerable people embroiled in litigation, had represented the woman and told the judge of her wish to go home.

Judge Hilder said the woman had a “complicated matrix of physical and mental health issues”.

She said the cons of allowing the woman to go home outweighed the pros.

“The magnetic factor in this matter is (her) need for healthcare by professionals,” said the judge.

“There is no realistic prospect that these healthcare needs could be met adequately or at all if she lives (at home).

“The effect of failure to meet these needs will clearly be, at best, further and rapid deterioration in her health, and increased hospitalisation.”

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