Change that leads to better lives

Jim's Story

n-compass shares a case study about how Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which protects people's rights to have their private and family life respected, helped a couple live together after being separated.

Respect family life

Jim had been detained in a locked hospital ward following the breakdown of his residential care home place, pending a long-term move to new accommodation. An advocate was appointed to ensure Jim’s wishes were being considered.

Through their conversations, the advocate understood that while Jim did not mind where he lived, he was certain that he wanted to live with his wife, Mary, of over 40 years. It turned out that Mary also lived in the home Jim had left and had also been assessed as lacking the capacity to determine where she lived. A meeting was arranged to discuss Jim’s accommodation options, but the advocate also requested that Mary, her social worker and the advocate also attend.

During the meeting, it became clear that Mary also wanted to live with Jim and was unhappy in the residential home.

The advocate requested that a placement be sought for the couple to live together. Initially, this was rejected because of concerns that they previously had a negative impact on each other. However, the advocate asserted that the couple had chosen to live together for most of their lives and their relationship should be respected. The advocate cited Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which protects people’s rights to have their private and family life respected and suggested that the decision might not be lawful.

It was therefore agreed that attempts would be made to identify a placement that could accommodate the couple, and a suitable home was identified.

Jim and Mary were able to share a large room with their own seating and dining area, but they would each have a personalised support plan in place to ensure that their individual needs could be met.

Right to Respect for private and family life

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