The Supreme Court has published a judgment in the case of SL (FC) (Respondent) v Westminster City Council (Appellant) (2013) UKSC 27.
Mind provided independent evidence in the case of SL v Westminster City Council. In this appeal by the council, the Supreme Court considered whether SL, a failed asylum seeker and victim of torture who was admitted to psychiatric hospital following an attempt to take his own life, was in need of care and attention on discharge from hospital that required the council to provide accommodation under the National Assistance Act 1948.
Mind’s evidence described the importance of stable accommodation and the role of social recovery for people with mental health problems. Mind is disappointed that in this case the Supreme Court decided that the services provided to SL did not amount to care and attention.
However, Mind is pleased that the Supreme Court confirmed the relevance of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a charter which requires effective measures to be taken to enable people with disabilities to attain and maintain independence and physical, mental, social and vocational ability. This means the Convention can be more widely used in future cases involving people with physical and mental disabilities. Mind also welcomes the Supreme Court’s recognition of the importance of ‘parity of esteem’ - that physical and mental healthcare in the community should be seen as equally important.
Angela Truell, Lawyer at Mind, said:
"Although we are disappointed with the outcome in this case, we hope that the Supreme Court’s recognition of the importance of both the Convention, and parity of esteem between physical and mental health, will assist people with mental health problems and disabilities in future cases."