Application of Article 8 to withdrawal of complex needs service to individual

A complex needs supported living provider has issued 28 days notice based on relationship with "P"s family - not P themselves. I seem to remember a case, several years ago where this had happened in a residential care situation and article 8 came into play - I cannot cite the case but possibly “Y”. As the service is purchased by an LA (the state) article 8 seems to be brought in to play. For “P” to move they could lose access to the proximity of their family as well as suffering acute distress on transfer to another service. This situation is not unusual, unfortunately and I am wondering whether Judicial remedies could be sought that may hold up the process long enough for an alternative provider to be found, preferably without “P” losing his home and easy access to his family. 28 days is never enough in situations where people with complex needs are accommodated and supported.

Sadly in other cases I have not seen this course of action taken in the way that I had hoped it might be.

Hoping someone has an answer.

Chris Wall
Independent Social Worker

Hi Chris. Just another Social worker perspective…! I hope the LA has already taken an active role in liaising/mediating and protecting the placement?
So I’m wondering what would you want the Court to order? If there is anything the LA could reasonably do to support the person’s Article 8 rights then great, but if no conceivable or realistic action can change the provider’s mind I do not see what you expect to happen under any authority.

Hi Chris

How are you?
I am afraid I can’t recall any case law - have you done a search on Essex Chambers? Has anyone looked at independent mediation? I am sure you will have considered this already, but unless there is a breach of the tenancy agreement then I am not sure how the provider can ask him to leave his home. Where we have had a provider giving notice in similar circumstances, we have commissioned a new provider to take over the person’s care and support while they have stayed in the same property. I realise this may not be easy if it is a shared tenancy and the other tenants do not want a new provider but we have managed to do this even so by having more than 1 provider. In that case we established an agreement between the 2 providers about how they would interface. If there is a management agreement between the current provider and the landlord then that may not be an option, but if the LA holds the management agreement then they have control over the provider arrangements. In another scenario where the tine scales were really tight, our in-house supported living provider stepped in at very short notice to cover the gap in care while the commissioning process took place. The other matter to consider is what it says in the provider contract about giving notice and whether there is a requirement for them to remain in situ till other arrangements can be made. Kind regards, Cate Short

HI Cate,

After all this time I am finally replying. For some reason my system did not let me know that you, and one other person, had offered advice. What happened was that in a complex 4:1 support package, the provider simply gave 28 days leaving no chance to recruit other providers successfully. In the end a temporary provider had to be brought in and, tbh, they charged very highly but held the first, so to speak until another long term provider could be found.

It wasn’t the tenancy at issue - it was that in 28 days time he would have had no staff. I was looking to see if there was any way that the provider could be made to remain in situ until this person’s best interested could be served long term.

All well here thanks and not actually retired yet. I hope you are well too.