The Care Bill — challenges and opportunities

By Sheree Green

Douglas is elderly. He cannot care for himself. His behaviour is often challenging. He does not tolerate the presence and attentions of people generally. Douglas’s care and accommodation is paid for in full by his local authority under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended).

Surprisingly, Douglas has never been diagnosed with any mental disorder. Nor has he spent any time detained in hospital for treatment for such a disorder.

This is because Douglas is, in fact, a cat. How does a local authority find itself paying for care, veterinary fees and cattery costs for a significant number of years, as part of a section 117 package? …

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