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Public law and Regulation

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09 OCT 2012

Davis v West Sussex County Council [2012] EWHC 2152 (QB) (2012) PLLR 124


Care homes - contracts for services - local authorities powers and duties - investigation - legitimate expectation - procedural fairness - vulnerable adults - contractual relationship - whether remedy in contract or public law - lawfulness of local authority decision - remedies

An investigation into allegations against a care home was procedurally flawed and breached legitimate expectations where the owners of the care home were not given sufficient notice of the content of the allegations and were not informed of a second case conference. The existence of a contractual relationship between the local authority and the care home did not preclude a public law challenge.

22 August 2012

Administrative Court

HHJ Mackie QC

(1)        The claimants (D) sought permission for judicial review, claiming that an investigation by the defendant (W) into allegations of abuse at a care home run by D had been procedurally flawed.

(2)        D argued that W had acted in breach of a legitimate expectation created when W assured D that they would have sufficient notice of the content of the report prior to the first case conference. D further claimed that W had acted in breach of local authority and central government guidance, and that the procedure was unfair because, inter alia, the circumstances and consequences of the conference were unfair and unjust and D had not been notified of a second case conference.


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