M, Regina (on the Application of) v Slough Borough Council: HL 30 Jul 2008

The House was asked ‘whether a local social services authority is obliged, under section 21(1)(a) of the 1948 Act, to arrange (and pay for) residential accommodation for a person subject to immigration control who is HIV positive but whose only needs, other than for a home and subsistence, are for medication prescribed by his doctor and a refrigerator in which to keep it.’
Held: The Council’s appeal succeeded. ‘the natural and ordinary meaning of the words ‘care and attention’ in this context is ‘looking after’. Looking after means doing something for the person being cared for which he cannot or should not be expected to do for himself: it might be household tasks which an old person can no longer perform or can only perform with great difficulty; it might be protection from risks which a mentally disabled person cannot perceive; it might be personal care, such as feeding, washing or toileting. This is not an exhaustive list. The provision of medical care is expressly excluded. ‘ The claimant’s medical care was being provided by the NHS.

Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Scott of Foscote, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury
[2008] UKHL 52, [2008] 1 WLR 1808, [2008] BLGR 871, (2008) 11 CCL Rep 733, [2008] 4 All ER 831, [2008] NPC 94, [2008] HLR 44
Bailii, Times, HL
National Assistance Act 1948 21(1)(a)
England and Wales
At First InstanceM, Regina (on the Application of) v Slough Borough Council Admn 27-Apr-2004
The claimant, a Zimbabwean, was subject to immigration control. He was HIV positive, and sought assistance from the authority under the 1948 Act. The authority replied that his needs did not reach such a level as to require assistance under the . .
Appeal fromSlough Borough Council v M, Regina (on the Application Of) CA 25-May-2006
The claimant was subject to immigration control. He sought assistance under the 1948 Act on the basis that he suffered HIV. The authority appealed an order requiring them to provide assistance on the basis that he need for medication brought him . .
CitedWestminster City Council v National Asylum Support Service HL 17-Oct-2002
The applicant sought assistance from the local authority. He suffered from spinal myeloma, was destitute and an asylum seeker.
Held: Although the Act had withdrawn the obligation to provide assistance for many asylum seekers, those who were . .
CitedSteane v Chief Adjudication Officer and Another HL 8-Aug-1996
Since no payments had been made by the Local Authority for care, a care home resident was entitled to claim Attendance Allowance.
Occupant of residential home paying charges himself may get attendance allowance. . .
CitedChief Adjudication Officer and Another v Quinn (For Jane Harris) and Another HL 9-Oct-1996
LT Applicable amount – local authority accommodation leased to voluntary organisations – whether claimants are ‘persons in residential accommodation’ or are living in ‘residential care homes’ . .
CitedRegina v Wandsworth London Borough Council Ex Parte Beckwith HL 15-Dec-1995
The applicants had contended that Wandsworth was under a duty to maintain some accommodation for the elderly in premises under its own management.
Held: The applicants claim failed. Local Authorities may provide all care for elderly by outside . .
CitedRegina v Wandsworth London Borough Council, Ex Parte O; Leicester City Council, Ex Parte Bhikha CA 7-Sep-2000
The applicants were immigrants awaiting determination of their applications for exceptional leave to remain, and who came to suffer from serious illness. Each applied for and was refused assistance from their local authority.
Held: The . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Social Security Ex Parte B and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants CA 27-Jun-1996
The Secretary of State had introduced regulations which excluded the statutory right to payment of ‘urgent case’ benefits for asylum seekers who had not claimed asylum immediately upon arrival, or whose claims for asylum had been rejected, and who . .
CitedRegina v Kensington and Chelsea Royal London Borough Ex Parte Kihara; Similar CA 25-Jun-1996
Four asylum seekers had been deprived of benefits, and left destitute. They had sought housing assistance from the authority, claiming that the complete absence of resources left to them was an ‘other special reason’ leaving them vulnerable within . .
CitedRegina v Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council, ex parte M; Regina v Similar Ex Parte P etc QBD 8-Oct-1996
Destitute asylum seekers who were not entitled to welfare benefits could be in need of care and attention within the meaning of section 21 of the 1948 Act although they were no longer entitled to housing assistance or other social security benefits . .
CitedAdam, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Limbuela v Same; Tesema v Same HL 3-Nov-2005
The applicants had each entered the UK with a view to seeking asylum, but having failed to seek asylum immediately, they had been refused any assistance, were not allowed to work and so had been left destitute. Each had claimed asylum on the day . .
CitedWahid v London Borough of Tower Hamlets CA 7-Mar-2002
Gilliatt The appellant suffered from schizophrenia. He was refused permission to apply for judicial review and for orders requiring the local authority not just to provide suitable accommodation but better . .
CitedRegina (on the Application of Mani) v London Borough of Lambeth CA 9-Jul-2003
Where a destitute and disabled asylum seeker had a clear need for care and attention, the local authority had a duty to provide it. The claimant was an asylum seeker, with impaired mobility and a history of mental halth difficulties. At first he was . .

Cited by:
CitedSL v Westminster City Council SC 9-May-2013
The applicant for assistance from the respondent Council under the 1948 Act was a destitute, homeless failed asylum seeker. He had been admitted to hospital for psychiatric care, but the Council had maintained that his condition was part of and . .
CitedHotak and Others v London Borough of Southwark and Another SC 13-May-2015
The court was asked as to the duty of local housing authorities towards homeless people who claim to be ‘vulnerable’, and therefore to have ‘a priority need’ for the provision of housing accommodation under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996. Those . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Benefits, Immigration

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.271278