Hospital bosses change mind on NHS Trust being named in court of protection case

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NHS hospital trust bosses who wanted a judge in a specialist court to make orders relating to the way a pregnant mentally ill woman gave birth have changed their minds about the authority being named in media reports.

Bosses at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust initially said publication of the trust’s name in media reports of the case might create an information jigsaw which would reveal the woman’s identity.

But they have changed their minds in the wake of public interest arguments mounted by journalists.

The Press Association said members of the public were entitled to know the names of public bodies involved in such cases and said publication of the trust’s name would not create a significant risk of the woman’s identity being revealed.

Trust bosses agreed to the trust being named after considering those arguments.

Mr Justice Francis examined preliminary issues at a public hearing in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to take decisions are considered, in London in May.

The woman was represented by staff from the Office of the Official Solicitor, who help vulnerable people embroiled in litigation, and have instructed lawyers on her behalf.

Trust bosses and the woman’s representatives reached agreement about a treatment plan and the judge was not required to make a decision.

Barrister Sophia Roper, who led her legal team, told Mr Justice Francis that trust bosses should have brought the case to court sooner.

She suggested that bosses had gone against guidance given by another judge.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Dave Jones / PA Wire.