“The Trust Does Not Envisage Any Reduction in the Services Available to People Currently Under the Care of its CMHT Teams”!

By: Paul Reed 
Top London Solicitor Louise Whitfield successfully represented MUN service users.

Solicitor’s letter kindly reproduced by a Service User and a member of Manchester Users Network (MUN) involved in initial legal proceedings against Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust.

Manchester Users Network members were represented by top London public law specialist Louise Whitfield  {solicitor}.

Louise Whitfield qualified in 1997; she joined Pierce Glynn in 2009, and is now a partner at Deighton Pierce Glynn. Previously she worked at the Public Law Project (PLP), the leading public law NGO, where she was Head of Casework. Louise trained and qualified at Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors where she remained for a further six years before joining PLP in 2003.

Louise developed a particular specialism in representing voluntary sector organizations and their service-users in challenging funding cuts or other unfair public body decisions. For example, she brought a successful claim against Leicester City Council resulting in the overhaul of their funding of the voluntary sector and she acted in proceedings which established that health authorities could fund advice agencies targeting those with mental health problems.

Manchester Users Network, (MUN) recommends service users and their carer’s  fully understand their rights about the care they are legally entitled to receive under English law.

Below you can read exclusively to the MUNReporter, the solicitors winning team’s advice to their client, our member, which has been kindly allowed to be published herein by the claimant. We recommend that you read it, take note and keep it with your Care Plan, which every service users should already have an up to date copy of. Keep it where you know you can find it and keep it updated. You have legal rights concerning your care. If you’re ever in doubt about your care, talk to a member of staff or seek legal advice, you cannot afford to be ill informed when it comes to your health or that of a person you are caring for.

 Below Solicitors legal Advice to the client/service user.

Pierce Glynn logo and contact details 

13 July 2012

Dear ********

Re: Cuts to mental health services in Manchester

I am writing as we discussed with some further advice about the legal position if theTrust attempts to change anyone’s care and support as a result of the community services review, or in fact in any circumstances.  There are a number of documents which sets the position out quite clearly, and I will quote from these in turn so that you and other service users have the information readily to hand should there be a dispute over any of their care and support being withdrawn.

Within the judicial review claim, the two most useful comments from the Trust and their legal representatives are as follows:

          “In meetings the Trust has stated that no service users would have their Care and support changed without an appropriate review and revision of their care plan”.

As you know, this is from the Trust’s summary grounds of resistance which were filed with the court as part of the court case.

Additionally, in their solicitors’ letter of 12 July 2012, the position was confirmed as follows:

          “The Trust does not envisage any reduction in the services available to people currently under the care of its CMHT teams as a result of the proposed organisational changes.  Any adult receiving or requiring specialist mental health service will continue to receive the appropriate range of services currently available for their needs.”

The Care Programme Approach is explained in more detail in guidance issued by the Department of Health which all Trust staff must follow.  The guidance is called Refocusing the Care Programme Approach and it confirms the following point:

          “A thorough risk assessment, with full service user and carer involvement should be undertaken before a decision is made that the support of CPA is no longer needed.”

The Trust has made their stated position very clear.  As well as their existing duties not to change someone’s care or support without a review and revision of their care plan, they have also made it clear in the court case that they promise never to do this.  Any service users faced with this situation would be entitled to take legal proceedings against the Trust on an individual basis.

Service users should feel confident in drawing these issues to the attention of Trust staff and to seek legal advice when necessary.

I hope this is clear, but do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance on this point.


Yours sincerely,

Louise Whitfield


Deighton Pierce Glynn is a merger of Deighton Guedalla and Pierce Glynn solicitors.

Refocusing the Care Programme Approach: policy and positive practice guidance:-

Download Refocusing the care programme approach: Policy and positive practice guidance (PDF, 774K)

Read here the fantastic track record of fighting for the service user’s corner, by Louise Whitfield, Solicitor and partner in Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors follow here to view. link:http://www.deightonpierceglynn.co.uk/people/people_11.htm

Print this page and keep it with your care plan. If someone tries to take your mental health services away, make sure you or your carer seek advice from a member of staff such as your CPN or seek a free of charge legal consultation with a specialist solicitor such as Louise Whitfield from Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors tel: 020 7407 0007 or email mail@deightonpierceglynn.co.uk. If you have been diagnosed as suffering from a mental health illness, your medical & social care support and that of your family and friends is very important in keeping you well. Don’t let your support be taken away, before you have found out the legal facts concerning your care. Remember you have rights in law. ‘Service Users, who stand together, achieve together’.  Support Manchester Users Network (MUN). Become a friend of ours and help fight those who are trying to make mental health harder to live with, by removing the mental health services that keep people well.  Our Logo says what we do; support us by subscribing to the MUNReporter, to receive our new newsletter being launch in September.

To contact the solicitors named in this article, please contact link :http://www.deightonpierceglynn.co.uk/#

Other Stories that people are also reading conected to this subject link: https://www.manchesterusersnetwork.org.uk/?p=3671










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