Q My brother was recently taken into hospital following a fall at home. He is now fit for discharge and does not need to remain in hospital, but has been assessed as having dementia and I have been told he cannot make decisions for himself about his care and where he should live.
Social Services are telling me that they think he needs to go into a care home. This would however devastate him as he has a dog called Jeffery (that I am currently looking after) and all he wants is to get out of hospital and get home to Jeffery. I am not sure what I can do, but I need to explore everything to try and avoid him suffering further distress. Can you suggest anything?
A: If your brother is deemed to lack capacity to make decisions about his care and where he should live, decisions need to be taken on his behalf that are in his best interests.
These decisions are usually made following formal Best Interest Meetings, where professionals and family members discuss the options. If there is agreement, steps can usually be taken on their behalf. However, from what you have said, it doesn’t look as though agreement will be possible here.
When there is disagreement about Best Interests, the Court of Protection can be asked to make decisions. There are several ways in which a case can be brought. Realistically, it should be the Local Authority that brings the case. However, if they are not willing to do so, an application could be brought by your brother, either by himself or through an advocate or specialist lawyer. Under some circumstances a family member can also bring an application.
You should get in touch with a specialist lawyer who has specific expertise in this area and who can advise you on the options. Hopefully, something can be done to reunite your brother and Jeffery!
This question has been answered by Shane Maddocks, Solicitor & Head of Public Authority Law at GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients. Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194