I appealed the first Deprivation of Liberty Authorisation. In two weeks, I read all I could find on the safeguards and already had an inkling that the authorisation may be unlawful. I wanted to achieve two things from the appeal - get the authorisation lifted and get Steven home.
The cast list at the meeting was:
The social worker
The social worker's manager
The social worker's manager's manager
The Unit's manager
The Unit's manager's manager
The Head of Safeguarding ( he turned out to be the person who signed the orders)
The best interest assessor
Someone from their legal team
A legal secretary (taking the minutes)
Me and my friend, Mary
Justice Jackson analysed the meeting and declared "nothing whatever was achieved". The chair of the meeting kept saying "we are acting legally on everyone's behalf". Everyone?
By this time, they had stopped all Steven's outside activities pending their never ending risk assessments. As we later found out, this was just a stalling tactic. I pleaded with them for some crumbs, like letting Steven go to the Mencap pool, where we'd never had a problem in the last 10 years. It was refused.
The social worker and the Unit manager, who had been my only contact points up until then, were strangely quiet. But Mary counted them saying 7 times - "where does this leave Hillingdon?"
Mary and I went for a drink afterwards and I asked her for one adjective to describe them. She said "frightened". We couldn't work out what they were frightened about. So we got pissed instead.