Mind welcomes legal judgment on care and accommodation
Posted Wednesday 10 August 2011
Mind has today welcomed the judgment in the case of R (SL) v Westminster City Council, which clarified the duty of local authorities to provide appropriate care and attention, and accommodation for people with mental health problems.
Mind, alongside Freedom from Torture, intervened in the case to provide written evidence to the Court of Appeal on the interpretation of s21 National Assistance Act 1948. The submissions included evidence of the effect that a range of services, from counselling to motivational meetings, can have on an individual’s mental health. Mind also argued that providing these services would be worthless unless that person has suitable accommodation.
Mind's Head of Legal Pauline Dall said:
Mind is delighted that the Court of Appeal has confirmed that local authority care services, such as counselling or befriending and social work support, for people with mental health problems, qualify as care and attention under the National Assistance Act 1948.
The judgment also clarifies that a council will have a duty to provide accommodation to a person who is homeless and has need for such care services, where this accommodation is required to ensure that the care services are effective.
This case is a welcome development in the care of people with mental health problems who are not living in suitable accommodation, clarifying a previously unclear area of the National Assistance Act.
Mind would like to acknowledge and give thanks for the pro bono support provided by Kate Markus at Doughty Street Chambers.