R v Cornwall County Council, ex parte Goldsack (1996) (unreported) (QBD)

Manual handling – assessment – risk – mobility – needs

This was an application for judicial review of the local authority decision to assist the mobility of a 21 year old chronically disabled woman by providing her with the wheelchair. The woman’s adoptive parents complained on the basis that by ceasing to provide assistance with her walking and confining her to a wheelchair, the Council was acting unlawfully

The court held that the parents had failed to show that the withdrawal of walking assistance was unlawful. The judge accepted the local authority’s submissions that staff had complained of back pain when they walked with the woman. He concluded that her primary assessed need was that of mobility and that in deciding how to meet that need the Council was entitled to take account of its resources and to regard health and safety as a material consideration when deciding what assistance to provide.

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