It was an important time of the year for Steven. We were due to go on holiday two weeks after the DoL was due to be reviewed and that weekend also marked the start of the final phase of the fake transition home plan - Steven would be having an overnight stay at home for the first time since 30th December 2009.
All that was dashed (more over the next two blogs) but here is Justice Peter Jackson's summing up of the second best interest assessment:
- On 21 June, the second DOL standard authorisation was granted. A different best interests assessor (BIA2) consulted Mr Neary. He describes her telephoning him at lunchtime for 10 minutes, saying that she had to file her report by 3 p.m. He says that to every point he raised she replied "but Hillingdon say this ..." He did not consider that she was carrying out a proper or independent assessment and lodged a complaint about her.
- I have not heard evidence from BIA2, but I have read her assessment. She recommends a three month period for deprivation of liberty. Substantial parts of her short report are cut and pasted from the previous best interests report. She appears to have had cursory contact with Steven on 21 June, the date her report was filed (even though it is unaccountably signed on 18 June). No reference is made to his wishes and feelings. No reference is made to Mr Neary's opposition to the placement. On the contrary, the following appears: "I understand from my conversation with Mr M Neary that he believes the current care plan is positively supporting his son and his transitional programme." No reference is made to the possibility of a placement at home alleviating the need for a deprivation of liberty. The recommendation is made for two conditions to be attached, one of which suggests that the three outstanding risk assessments for Steven's activities should be completed within eight weeks (in the context of a three-month deprivation recommendation). No reference is made to the absence of an IMCA, despite the condition in the previous standard authorisation, nor to the Court of Protection, despite the references in the previous assessment. I regret to say that the report has all the hallmarks of a document completed in a hurry.
I have a David Icke theory about the second DoL. I don't think the BIA ever met Steven. I'm not sure there was even a BIA. I think it was someone in the positive behaviour unit or the social care team suddenly realised - "Shit - we need to renew this DoL or else his dad can take him home".
It still makes me so angry. That something so important as depriving a vulnerable person of their liberty should receive such pisspoor attention and time. They are meant to be "safeguards" for christsake but to Hillingdon they meant nothing more than a 10 minute phone call and a hastily written report in blue felt pen.