Man ‘feels imprisoned’ in hospital because no alternative accommodation can be found

A man with physical and mental health problems is “living” in a hospital even though he is fit to leave, a judge in a specialist court has heard.

Lawyers representing the man, who is in his 30s, on Monday told Mr Justice Hayden that he had been in hospital for more than a year.

They said he remained in hospital because no “available alternative accommodation” had been found – even though a “wide range of public authorities” were involved in his case.

A barrister leading the man’s legal team told how he had tried to “escape” – and broken an arm during the attempt.

The NHS trust involved has apologised for “not yet” identifying a “suitable community placement”.

A lawyer representing another health authority told the judge that professionals involved were under pressure because of the “state” of the health and social care services.

Mr Justice Hayden is overseeing the case at hearings in the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to take decisions, in London.

The judge said the man could not be identified in media reports of the case.

Manchester City Council (pictured) has responsibilities for his care.

He asked why no plan for the man’s discharge had been formulated and indicated that he would review the case in the near future.

“This is a case about a young man who has been in (hospital) for over a year,” barrister Ben McCormack, who is leading the man’s legal team, said in a written case outline.

“He is medically fit to be discharged.”

Mr McCormack said the man was “living” in hospital and added: “The real problem is that no available alternative accommodation has yet been sourced.”

He said despite the “wide range” of public authorities involved, each of which supported discharge, the man remained in hospital without any “alternative options actually yet on the table”.

“(The man) dislikes being required to live in hospital,” Mr McCormack told the judge.

“He feels imprisoned.

“He has tried to escape through the ceiling of the bathroom attached to his ward.

“He hurt himself … he broke his arm.”

Mr McCormack said the man had “undoubtedly” presented a “complex problem”.

He said the man had “extensive health needs” which would need to be met outside hospital.

But he added: “We are not attempting to land a person on the Moon here.”

Mr McCormack said the man had a computer, and a television, and had watched the World Cup Final on Sunday.

“We will deploy any and every resource to try and get this man out of hospital,” Vikram Sachdeva KC, who represented one of the health authorities involved, told the judge.

“We know the state that the health service and social care services are in.

“It is cold comfort to the individual, but the professionals do have that pressure.”

Barrister Alexis Hearnden, who represented the NHS trust involved, told the judge in a written case outline: “The trust offers an apology to the court and (the man) that it has not yet identified a suitable community placement.”

She said “progress” had been made recently.

“(His) physical health has at times been extremely precarious,” she said.

“During the currency of this hospital admission, his health has also fluctuated and a stroke in July 2022 set back plans to discharge (him) from hospital.”

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