Community care and moving on after mental health problems

Feeling good in your own home is an important element of anyone’s wellbeing, and this is particularly important when recovering from a mental health condition.

Andrew Bowmer and Jasper Blumenthal from our community care team recently helped a lady to obtain suitable accommodation to enable her to lead a more independent life after more than three years of supported living.

Our client first approached Miles & Partners in March 2018. Some time ago she had been discharged from a psychiatric ward, where she had been detained under the Mental Health Act, and our mental health team provided her with initial advice relating to aftercare services she was receiving.

She later became ineligible for after care services under the Mental Health Act, but there were still outstanding issues relating to her entitlement to community care services. In particular, it had been agreed that the supported living facility where she was living was no longer suitable, but she was given no support to enable her to transition to suitable independent accommodation.  

To make matters worse, our client was then told that she must pay a contribution towards the care she was receiving (but no longer required) at the supported living placement.

Our client was concerned that her mental health problems were being made worse by being in unsuitable accommodation for over three years and that this was hampering her rehabilitation. She said that she felt deeply unhappy and powerless being stuck there. She instructed our solicitors to correspond with the local authority for confirmation that they would provide support to help her lead a more independent life.

We entered into pre-action correspondence with the local authority, arguing that their failure to take steps to provide our client with the necessary support for her to move on was contrary to their statutory duties under the Care Act 2014.

As a result of our intervention, the local authority reassessed our client’s needs and agreed to support her to independence, by:

  • paying the deposit and first month’s rent on a new property;
  • providing ongoing assistance to identify a new property; and
  •  liaising with the housing department to improve her priority status on the housing register. 

Following this agreement, our client then received the fantastic news in July 2019 that she had finally been offered a council house which she accepted. She could now leave her placement to begin a more independent life.

She said she would like to thank Andrew Bowmer and Jasper Blumenthal for all the work they have both done, commenting that she ‘had not been this happy in a long time’ and she had them to thank for that.

For more information issues relating to housing and community care, please contact Andrew Bowmer 020 7426 0400 or email AB@Milesandpartners.co.uk.

This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please note that the law may have changed since the date this article was published. You should always take legal advice relating to your individual circumstances.