0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

claim allowed to proceed in restitution for failure to provide s.117 MHA 1983 after-care services

17 August 2016

A recent judgment by Mr Justice Newey in Richards v Worcestershire County Council and another could have implications for local authorities and CCGs providing after-care services to patients.

The claimant had been detained under section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983. On his discharge, he was then to receive after-care services under s.117 of the 1983 Act and it was the LA and CCG’s joint responsibility to commission those services. However, when he was discharged the claimant went into a care home which he paid for privately.

The claimant brought a claim in restitution for £644,645.87 for money spent on the basis that the LA and CCG should have provided him with s.117 after-care. The defendants applied to strike out his claim and argued that there was no private law cause of action arising out of a failure to carry out duties under s.117, rather the claimant should pursue the case via public law remedies.

The judge held that the claim can proceed in restitution against the defendants as there had been mistakes made by the deputy and it seemed “payments made on his behalf served to relieve the defendants of liabilities which they ought to have been bearing under section 117”. The claimant has not won his case yet but could this decision open the door to extending private law claims to this area?

CCGs and local authorities should take note of this decision and the potential for it to open the door to patients to make a claim in restitution in circumstances where a patient has not received after-care services that should have been commissioned and have had to privately pay for care themselves due to mistakes. The judge was clear that the claimant did not have to pursue a case by way of judicial review.

It will be interesting to see if this decision is appealed and how this case progresses.

related opinions

Decision making and consent

The GMC updated guidance on 'Decision making and consent' comes into effect today, on 9 November 2020, replacing the previous guidance.

View blog

New guidance issued by NHSE&I on procedures for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to apply for constitution change, merger or dissolution

NHSE&I issued new guidance to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) on 3 August 2020, this is a must read document for all CCGs either going through or contemplating embarking on a merger process.

View blog

GP contracts: updated expectations and contracting issues

On 9 July NHS England and NHS Improvement issued a letter to primary medical contractors and commissioners updating them on service expectations and contracting issues.

View blog

“Caution” is now the watchword when it comes to directly awarding public sectors contracts

The judicial review proceedings brought by the Good Law Project against the Department of Health and Social Care in relation to the £108m contract the Department awarded for PPE in April are about to shine a light on Regulation 32(2)(c) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

View blog

mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up