Regina v Ealing District Health Authority, ex parte Fox: 1993

A patient’s conditional discharge had been ordered by a tribunal. One of the conditions imposed by the tribunal was the appointment by the health authority of a responsible medical officer to provide psychiatric supervision of the patient in the community. The authority refused to make the appointment.
Held: ‘I reject the submission that this duty (under section 117) only comes into existence when the applicant is discharged from Broadmoor. I consider a proper interpretation of this section to be that it is a continuing duty in respect of any patient who may be discharged and falls within section 117, although the duty to any particular patient is only triggered at the moment of discharge.’ The court declared ‘(1) that the authority has erred in law in not attempting with all reasonable expedition and diligence to make arrangements so as to enable the applicant to comply with the conditions imposed by the mental health review tribunal; (2) that a district health authority is under a duty under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 to provide aftercare services when patient leaves hospital, and acts unlawfully in failing to seek to make practical arrangements for after-care prior to that patient’s discharge from hospital where such arrangements are required by mental health review tribunal in order to enable the patient to be conditionally discharged from hospital.’


Otton J


[1993] 1 WLR 373


Mental Health Act 1983 117


England and Wales

Cited by:

Dicta DoubtedRegina (W) v Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council Admn 13-Feb-2003
The claimant sought damages for false imprisonment. The mental health tribunal had ordered his release, but the respondent had delayed that release.
Held: False imprisonment is established on proof of imprisonment without lawful authority. An . .
AppliedRegina v Mental Health Review Tribunal; Torfaen County Borough Council and Gwent Health Authority ex parte Hall Admn 23-Apr-1999
The tribunal had ordered the conditional discharge of the patient, subject to conditions to be satisfied by the local health authority. The authority had failed to make the arrangements which would have satisfied the relevant conditions, and as a . .
CitedRegina (on the application of K) v Camden and Islington Health Authority CA 21-Feb-2001
The duty of a local authority to seek to provide resources to care for a mental patient after release into the community, is not absolute, and is subject to the limitations of the availability of a sufficient budget. A continued detention in . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.195618