At a hearing in the High Court on 14 December 2018, the court granted an injunction requiring a London borough to provide supported accommodation for a vulnerable and mentally incapacitated woman with schizophrenia and diabetes.

The court application was made following serious concerns from professionals about the woman’s welfare. In particular it was noted that her living conditions were squalid, with faeces and animal bones in the flat, and that she faced health risks associated with not receiving treatment for her diabetes.

At the hearing the local authority argued that its statutory duty extended only to referring the woman to care providers, and that there was no need to refer the case to the Court of Protection until the woman’s situation became life-threatening.

The court rejected those arguments and made an order requiring that accommodation be made available within weeks in compliance with the local authority’s statutory duties under the Care Act 2014.

Warwick Norris of the community care team at GT Stewart Solicitors & Advocates acted for the woman through her litigation friend, the Official Solicitor. Leonie Hirst of Hirst Chambers was instructed as counsel in the case.