Discharging s117 for patient who disappeared overseas

Dear Colleagues,

“Peter” lives in a supported care provision and is receiving aftercare services under s117. He decides to go and visit his relatives abroad now getting to 4 months: in the past he has gone for about a month and returns as he is aware his DWP benefits could be terminated.

Attempts to contact him or any family members abroad have been unsuccessful. The funding authority has terminated his care package as it is pointless to continue paying the care package (£700/wk) and the care provider would rather get full payment by someone occupying the room rather than a negotiated cost to hold the room for Peter.


  1. Can the LA & CCG that has the aftercare responsibility discharge the s117 in absence?
  2. If so or not, is there a reference in the act?

Thank you always for your support.


Not an expert here but my suggestion would be no you cannot discharge. The decision here is about eligibility which is separate to providing services based on that eligibility. Not using services doesn’t mean that he is not eligible for them (definitely lots of examples of people not using services because family meet their needs but still being eligible). He may return back at a later date and be in need of services then.

Furthermore, to discharge from S117 requires a joint health and social care decision that the person no longer has needs arising from their mental ill health and and by meeting them you are preventing a readmission to hospital. I don’t think you can definitively say that when he is not available in person for you to assess/review.

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Hello Esther, I would agree with Jadie H on this and would also say, is there proof Peter has gone abroad or are you just assuming? Unless you have evidence of this status (and how would you have that?) I would say Peter is still entitled to S117 aftercare and you have no right to discharge your NHS/Council duties.