British woman returns to family after being held in residential care for over a year
Published: 02 October 2014
|A British woman with intellectual disabilities
had to live in an institution for one year.
She did not need to live there.
She was not allowed to see her family.
This was against the woman’s rights.
Her family went to a judge.
Because they wanted the woman to live with them again.
The judge said that the woman should not be in an institution.
The judge also said that she should live where she wanted.
The woman is now allowed to stay with her family
And get the support that she needs.
A British woman with autism and severe intellectual disabilities has this week returned to her family having been held against her wishes in residential care for over twelve months.
The woman, known as ´P´ for legal reasons, was kept in residential care and prevented from having regular access to her family by Somerset County Council.
A judgment by the regional Court of Protection deemed her placement into the facility to be a fundamental breach of human rights. The judge further remarked that ´systemic failures´ in the regional council´s handling of the case had led to the 19-year-old girl being forcibly separated from her close family for over a year.
P was placed into residential care in May last year following reports of self-inflicted bruising being found on her chest.
However, due to insufficient investigations carried out by the regional council, P remained in a respite facility and was sedated against her own wishes. She was later forced to spend over half a year in an assessment and treatment unit, isolated from her family, until the case was taken to court.
The hearing, which took place in May, discovered that the regional authorities had failed to comply with regulations outlined by the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and had instead followed safeguarding measures that did not take into consideration the best interests of P and her family.
The judge argued that not only did the authorities not act in accordance with the MCA, but they were not even fully aware of its processes. He also found that the initial facility holding P did not have the necessary care provisions in place to support her needs, once more breaching her fundamental human rights.
This case highlights the necessity for suitable support structures at regional level to ensure that authorities can act in the best interest of people with intellectual disabilities.
A spokesman for the regional council announced that apologies have since been offered to the family and that they are now liaising with them to ensure that all adult social care staff in the region will have the necessary training to ensure that this situation does not arise again.