LA v SB and Others: CA 12 Jul 2010

The local authority had applied for a care order under the court’s inherent wardship jurisdiction in connection with a family where three children suffered a potentially life threatening disease, Rasmussens’s encephalitis. The parents were said to be not co-operating with the medical team. The authority now sought permission to withdraw its application.
Held: The application was approved. Wall LJ took the opportunity to revisit the guidelines in re T.
It was important to note that in this case there was no lis between the parents and their medical team: this was an application by the local authority, and ‘the Children Act 1989 . . has placed a sharp and clear division between the functions of courts and local authorities. It is properly within the court’s province to decide whether or not MB and his siblings should be the subject of care orders: it is plainly not the court’s function to decide issues which are the responsibility of others or outside the ambit of its proper role. The court cannot control the activities of social services or any other of the departments of local authorities, nor should it attempt to do so. Not only is the issue of surgery for MB not before me, therefore, but as presently constituted it is not an issue for the court.’


Sir Nicolas Wall P FD


[2010] EWCA Civ 1744




Children Act 1989 100


England and Wales


CitedRe O (A minor) (Medical Treatment) FD 12-Apr-1993
The local authority applied for a care order in relation to the child, on the ground that there was an urgent and continuing need for medical treatment which included blood transfusions. The court considered the legal effect of a parent’s belief (as . .
CitedCamden London Borough Council v R (A Minor) (Blood Transfusion); in Re R (A Minor)(Blood Transfusion) FD 8-Jun-1993
Child A’s doctors considered that she would need treatment over the following two years and that this could involve the need for blood transfusions at any time. The parents were Jehovah’s Witnesses and refused consent.
Held: The order allowing . .
ApprovedIn Re T (A Minor) (Wardship: Medical Treatment) CA 24-Oct-1996
A baby boy who was 18 months old, suffered from a life-threatening liver defect. His parents were health-care professionals experienced in the care of sick children. The unanimous medical view was that as soon as donor liver became available the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Children, Health, Local Government

Updated: 06 February 2022; Ref: scu.420686