A woman has launched a test case at the high court to allow her
to use direct payments from a local authority to pay her husband to
care for her.
Gillian Ely, who has multiple sclerosis, claims that Leeds
council’s refusal to allow her to use the payments to pay her
husband is a violation of her human rights.
But the council’s barrister, Nicholas O’Brien, said
the local authority was bound by the Community Care (Direct
Payments) Regulations 1997, which forbid direct payments being
authorised to secure services from a person’s partner or
A government consultation on the Community Care (Direct
Payments) Act 1996, which closed at the end of last year, also
states that the regulations prevent people using direct payments
for their partner or close relatives living in the same
However, Mr Justice Toulson granted leave for a full judicial
review hearing of the decision. If successful, other people who
have been refused direct payments on similar grounds could also
challenge local authority decisions.