By way of background, this Court of Protection case concerned CJ, a 90-year-old lady diagnosed with dementia who was born in the Seychelles. CJ and her husband moved to the UK in 1961 and resided in the North West. Following her diagnosis of dementia, CJ’s husband became her main carer. He was taken ill and hospitalised in 2021 and sadly passed away. Social Services made the decision to place CJ in a residential care home. She was assessed as unable to make decisions relating to her residence and care, and so was placed on a standard authorisation, often referred to as DoLS. This meant that CJ was not free to leave the placement.
CJ consistently objected to her placement and expressed a wish to be reunited with her family in her native Seychelles. When CJ was asked why she wished to return to the Seychelles, she replied: “I was born there. My home is there and my family is there… When you see the Seychelles, everybody claps their hands. I won’t be staying here.”
We were instructed by CJ’s Relevant Persons Representative (RPR) to make an application to the Court of Protection, pursuant to s21a of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to challenge the deprivation of her liberty at the care home.
The key issue for the court to determine was whether it was in CJ’s interests to return to the Seychelles. Social Services were initially opposed to that move, arguing that the care that would be provided to CJ by her family in the Seychelles was not equivalent to the level of care that she would be afforded in her current placement. Concerns were also raised as to whether CJ’s health would tolerate the long-haul flight.
Southerns Solicitors worked closely with CJ’s family, Social Services, and an in-flight nursing company to narrow the issues that the court was to determine. We argued in favour of CJ’s expressed wishes and feelings and the importance of her right to family life. Our case was successful, and the court made final declarations that it was in CJ’s best interests to be transported from the care home to the airport and thereafter to reside with her family in the Seychelles.
CJ was safely conveyed to the Seychelles and into the care of her relatives on 2 September 2023. The team at Southerns were pleased to hear that there were no problems in-flight and CJ tolerated the 13 hour journey very well.
Southerns Solicitors has acted successfully on behalf of many clients in relation to Court of Protection cases. If you are an RPR or a family member of a vulnerable individual subject to DoLS, and there is a dispute concerning their residence and care, our Court of Protection team will be able to provide legal advice and representation to assist. Non-means tested funding is available.
Please contact us on 01282 438 446 and ask to speak with a member of the Court of Protection department for further information or fill out our “Contact Us” form on our website and a member of our team will be in touch.Get our latest news to your inbox