The Supreme Court judgement in R (on the application of Worcestershire County Council) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care [2023] UKSC 31 has been handed down on 10th August 2023.

The judgement clarifies that, as had always been the understanding, Care Act deeming does NOT apply to the Mental Health Act. This means that if a person is placed out of area on s.117 aftercare and, whilst there, is freshly sectioned, future s.117 aftercare responsibility will rest with the area where they were actually living (in the 117 accommodation) at the time they were sectioned and not the area which placed them there.

The ruling also clarifies when and how a readmission brings the s.117 duty to an end. Informal or s.2 admissions do not end a pre-existing s.117 duty. But a fresh s.3 (detention for treatment) does terminate a previous s.117 duty (as well as giving rise to a new s.117 duty which will fall to be fulfilled when the patient is subsequently discharged).

Full judgement available here.

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