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

austerity v Duty of Care

5 November 2010

In a recent test case the Court of Appeal has decided that The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea acted lawfully when it decided to withdraw services to one of its clients to save money.

Following a stroke in 1999, Elaine McDonald, aged 67 had restricted mobility. In 2008, she fell and broke her hip. She was subsequently assessed as needing 24 hour support to assist her using a commode and her local authority provided a sleep-in care worker seven days a week. The authority later decided that they could make a saving of £22,000 a year supplying Miss McDonald with incontinence pads to use at night instead, and she challenged this decision.

To date it has been difficult to know how far the courts will let a public authority reduce their services, but this case gives us some idea. We expect many more disputes like this, as budgets tighten across the whole of health and social care provision.

related opinions

Important opportunity to comment on case law precedent

The UK government is considering extending this power to depart from retained EU case law to additional lower courts and tribunals, namely the Court of Appeal in England and Wales and the High Court of Justice in England and Wales and their equivalents.

View blog

COVID-19 child protection practice - four months in - lessons learned so far

In June 2020 the University of Birmingham published a research briefing exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child protection practice.

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

Developments overlooking other land are not a nuisance

Developers received welcome confirmation from the Court of Appeal this month that ‘overlooking’ (providing a view into another’s property) does not constitute a nuisance or invasion of privacy.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up