Case No: CO/145/2023
In the High Court of Justice
King’s Bench Division
13 January 2023
The Honourable Mrs Justice Foster DBE
The King on the application of
Bedford Borough Council
East London NHS Foundation Trust
UPON THE CLAIMANT’S VERY URGENT APPLICATION FILED AND SERVED 13 JANUARY 2023
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant including the responses of the Defendants to correspondence
Order by the Honourable Mrs Justice Foster DBE
- Pursuant to CPR rule 39.2, no person shall publish the Claimant’s name or address, or any other information likely to identify the Claimant, in any report of these proceedings, without leave of the Court. The Claimant is to be referred to as ‘JT’, his mother and litigation friend is to be referred to as ‘JT’ and these proceedings shall be known as ‘R (JT) v Bedford Borough Council and East London NHS Foundation Trust’.
- The requirement for Acknowledgements of Service is hereby dispensed with.
- The Defendants do, if so advised, file and serve Summary Grounds of Defence by 4pm Wednesday 18 January 2023.
- The application for permission to apply for judicial review and for urgent interim relief is adjourned and will be listed for hearing in court, on notice to the Defendants as soon as possible no later than 23 January 2023 time estimate 2 ½ hours.
- The parties are to provide a written estimate within 48 hours of service of this Order if they disagree with the estimate at 1 above.
- The Claimant must file and serve a Skeleton Argument not less than 2 days before the date of the hearing.
- The Defendant must file and serve a Skeleton Argument not less than 1 day before the date of the hearing.
- Liberty to apply.
- JT (who has capacity at least as to his choice of accommodation) challenges the lawfulness of: (1) The ongoing failure of Bedford Borough Council and/or East London NHS Foundation Trust to meet his needs for care and support and the support needs of his mother; (2) The ongoing failure of the Local Authority to prepare a lawful care and support plan in accordance with s.24(1)(a) Care Act 2014; and (3) The ongoing failure of the Local Authority to prevent or delay the development of his needs in accordance with s.2 Care Act 2014.
- The case for JT is put in stark terms thus:
JT been assessed to require 24 hour care and support. His mother is his sole carer and has been since October 2021. The existing support plan makes provision for just 9 hours of PA support which is not currently in place / being provided. JT is not in receipt of any other day to day support. JT’s baseline condition continues to decline in the absence of professional care and support or a comprehensive support plan. Should he continue to deteriorate, he will very likely require hospitalisation. Hospitalisation, and the ward environment, would be deeply traumatic for JT as a man with autism, as it has been on previous occasions.
Should JT’s condition continue to decline, this has foreseeably irreparable consequences in terms of his mental and / or physical health which may require hospitalisation. Mr Taylor is also experiencing suicidal thoughts. If Mrs Taylor reaches a point where she is unable to maintain her caring role, again, Mr Taylor, in view of his 24 hour care needs, would be placed at very high risk and would require urgent hospitalisation.
JT has had 3 admissions to mental health units which are inappropriate environments for a young man who is autistic and which have left JT with lasting trauma and anxiety. Interim relief is therefore sought to avert the likely risk of further decline in JT’s condition, the imminent threat to his physical and mental health and the need for hospitalisation.
- In this difficult and sensitive case it is imperative that after many months delay, lack of provision (and a finding against the Defendants by the Ombudsman) a care resolution is worked out swiftly given the real risks to JT’s health and possibly, his life.
- It is appropriate that both the parties be before the Court as soon as reasonably possible in order to determine a practical way forward. The case has a long history and is complex so a balance has been struck between sufficient time for preparation and urgency.
- Given the detail of JT’s conditions it is appropriate that he be anonymised in these proceedings.