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Ordinary residence under section 117 remains unresolved

The way ordinary residence is determined for mental health aftercare remains unsettled, despite the government winning a court ruling relating to its radical new approach to the issue.

The Court of Appeal has partially accepted the new policy, under which responsibility for aftercare for people detained multiple times under the Mental Health Act remains with the council where the person lived immediately before their first detention.

However, it rejected a key aspect of the government’s approach, and Worcestershire council, who the court ruled against, is considering appealing to the Supreme Court.

As a result, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will continue not to make any determinations on disputes between councils over responsibility for aftercare that are similar to the Worcestershire case until legal proceedings definitively conclude.

Meanwhile, the government is planning to use its reform of the Mental Health Act 1983 to write its approach into law, with a bill to do so expected this year, though it is unclear when this will be implemented.


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