Does P have capacity to make decisions as to his care and residence?

In the recent case of KG (Capacity) [2021] EWCOP 30, it was necessary for the Court to determine whether P had capacity to make decisions as to his future care provisions and where he should reside.

By way of background, P is a 68 year old man, who has been an inpatient at a hospital since April 2016. He has been fit for discharge for around two years, however is very reluctant and resistant to leaving the hospital.

An application was made under S21a Mental Capacity Act (2005) in challenge to the DOLS authorisation in place, and the Court’s input was sought as to whether P had the required capacity to make decisions regarding his residence and care. The local authority and NHS Clinical Commissioning Group were in agreement that P should leave the hospital, and move to a specialist mental health residential placement.  

It was decided that whilst P was able to understand issues surrounding his care and residence, and could articulate objections to the proposals made, he was not able to retain abstract information in respect of his potential care and residence needs in the future, and could not weigh up the information relating to the decisions to be made.

As such, the conclusion was that the Court of Protection would continue to be involved in making best interests plans for P, and that the local authority and NHS Clinical Commissioning Group should continue to investigate options for residential placements for P.

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