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Care home briefing 144 – Compensation for unlawful detention

We have previously commented on the Courts’ approach to compensation for unlawful detention under the Mental Health Act.

A recent case1 illustrates the Court’s approach to compensation for unlawful detention in the context of a failure to comply with the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).

The Facts

The patient was taken into a care home by the Local Authority because of reported concerns about his finances and vulnerability to exploitation. The circumstances of this amounted to a deprivation of liberty, and for much of the time this was not authorised by a DoLS authorisation. The relevant period of unlawful detention was arguably between 13-17 months.

Quantum of compensation

In the case of London Borough of Hillingdon v Neary2 the Court had awarded £35,000 for 12 months of unlawful detention. In the current case, it therefore approved a settlement under which the patient received £60,000 In damages, which equated to between £3,500-£4,600 compensation for unlawful detention per month.

Andrew Parsons
t: 020 7227 7282
© RadcliffesLeBrasseur

January 2015

1 Essex County Council –v- RF & Others [2015] EWCOP1
2 [2011] EWHC3522


This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.

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