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Council unlawfully deprived woman of liberty due to ignorance of Mental Capacity Act

User AvatarPosted by Kathryn Platten at 08/10/2014 09:37:49
Community Care - 26 September 2014

Council unlawfully deprived woman of liberty due to ignorance of Mental Capacity Act
Court of Protection finds Somerset Council committed multiple human rights breaches against disabled woman unlawfully prevented from returning home
A council multiply breached the human rights of a learning disabled woman after unlawfully depriving her of her liberty, due to practitioners’ ignorance of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

That was the message of a damning Court of Protection judgement, published this week, regarding Somerset council’s actions in keeping the 19-year-old woman in residential settings for a year with restricted access to her family, following a safeguarding probe.

Judge Nicholas Marston said the council had shown a “blatant disregard of the process of the Mental Capacity Act and a failure to respect the rights of both P and her family” under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

He was particularly scathing about the legal knowledge of Somerset’s social workers, saying they “did not just disregard the process of the Mental Capacity Act, they did not know what the process was, and no one higher up the structure seems to have advised them correctly about it”. It was also revealed during the 10-day hearing in May and June that the council did not have a lawyer specialising in adult social care.

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