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R (on the application of ELAINE MCDONALD) v KENSINGTON & CHELSEA ROYAL LONDON BOROUGH COUNCIL

A local authority providing home-based community care to a person with limited mobility who suffered from bladder problems requiring her to urinate several times during the night was entitled to withdraw the provision of an overnight carer who helped her access a commode where it had assessed that her needs could equally be met by the provision of incontinence pads or absorbent sheets. Such a decision did not violate the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.8 because it was proportionate and in the interests of other service users.

11 July 2011

The appellant (M), who enjoyed the benefit of a home-based community care package supplied by the respondent local authority, appealed against a decision ((2010) EWCA Civ 1109) that it was entitled to withdraw her overnight carer in favour of meeting her needs in a more economical manner. M had limited mobility and suffered from bladder problems which meant that she had to urinate several times in the night. Her interim care package included an overnight carer, who helped her to access a commode. In October 2008, a renewed Needs Assessment determined that M could use incontinence pads or absorbent sheets at night, which would avoid the need for the overnight carer. M was appalled at the prospect of being treated as incontinent when she was not, and considered the proposal to be an intolerable affront to her dignity. The proposal was not implemented, but in its care plan reviews in 2009 and 2010, the local authority repeatedly stated that pads were a practical and appropriate solutio...

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