Health authority challenged over refusal to fund home care

Jason Powell, who is terminally ill, won the right to pursue an
action in the high court to seek judicial review of Dyfed Powys
Health Authority’s decision to only fund a place for him in a
nursing home. He wishes instead to go home and receive care there
until he dies.

Mr Powell has multiple sclerosis and pneumonia and has been told
that he has only a few months to live. He argued that the health
authority’s decision was “irrational and unlawful”, and that it was
unnecessary for him to remain in hospital. The refusal to fund a
care package within his home breached his rights, he said, under
Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to
respect for private and family life, home and correspondence).

The health authority had recently said it was willing to pay the
cost of a nursing home placement, and that would not be enough to
pay for the 24-hour care Mr Powell needs at his flat at Whitland,
Camarthen. Mr Powell is currently an in-patient at West Wales
General Hospital, Glangwilli, Camarthen.

On July 18 Mr Justice Silber granted Mr Powell permission to
seek judicial review of the health authority’s decision to fund
only a place in a nursing home, saying there was “an arguable case”
that it should go to a full hearing as a matter of urgency, likely
to be heard in August.


This is the first substantial human rights challenge to a health
authority, and it will be very interesting to see if Mr Powell
succeeds. Whilst there is no doubt that he does have an arguable
case, the task for the judge at the hearing in August will be to
decide whether he has a successful one, which is not the same

We will keep you up-to-date on developments.

Bernadette Livesey

Human Rights Solicitor

Walker Morris



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