Hayden VP gave Judgment this month in Lancashire County Council v M and Ors (no. 2) [2022] EWHC 2900 (Fam) concerning the welfare of a 13 year old boy with multi-system problems, arising from a rare gene mutation. Care Proceedings were commenced by Lancashire County Council because of a disagreement with his parents about his care.

Martin Downs was instructed by Hill Dickinson for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board who were an Intervener.

In the course of proceedings, Dr Kate Hellin, Consultant Chartered Psychologist and Psychotherapist had been instructed and the insights she had in these cases of deadlocked interactions about the care of children with complex medical presentations led to the publication of a Judgment by Hayden VP reported as W (A Child), Re [2021] EWHC 2844 (Fam) (25 October 2021) – where Nigel Taylor represented the  Lancashire CCG.

In his latest Judgment Hayden VP explores the legal argument by Lorraine Cavanagh KC acting for the father and Martin Downs for the Intervener and reiterated the test that applies for an application for care proceedings to be withdrawn – touching upon the potential danger where the Court is being harnessed to apply ‘pressure’ which is entirely beyond its remit: Holmes-Moorhouse v Richmond-upon-Thames London Borough Council [2009] UKHL 7, [2009] 1 WLR 413, [2009] 1 FLR 904, at paras [38]–[39] (Baroness Hale of Richmond) and the desirability of avoiding therapeutic interventions coinciding with ongoing litigation.