How far back or to what date can the Worcester S117 Judgement be applied?

How far back can the Worcester S117 Judgement be applied to other cases? For instance a Local Authority has been told they are responsible for S117 aftercare of a person who was moved to a private hospital voluntarily by another LA & LHB/CCG for rehab and subsequently detained under S2 then S3, several years ago under the belief that the person was S117 to the placing LA (where they had been ordinary resident) and LHB/CCG. A claim is being made retrospectively for a number of years. I wanted to know if there was a maximum length of time this could be backdated to or a specific date.

Hi, I think our legal department said 6 years is the maximum. We are tending to take the view that it should start from when it came to light. Only in exceptional circumstances are we considering backdating that far. The impact it would have on local authority budgets if everyone tried to claim the full 6 years could be significant!

Surely the Supreme Court simply confirmed the current status of the law, so eligibility and responsibility will date back to when s117 aftercare started. The rather unusual circumstance of a patient who was informal in hospital but otherwise without OR was dealt with some years ago in a case involving Sunderland and South Tyneside.

1 Like

Apologies, I’ve managed to find the advice from legal and it says … a claim can be brought summarily in terms of the statute of limitation, that is, in theory the local authority has 6 years from the date the debt arises to recover it. Our particular case dates from 2019 so is still within that timeframe. I would consult your legal department for advice, that’s what I would be doing for anything earlier than 6 years ago. Would be interested to hear what your legal team advises.