Joanne is 41 and has a diagnosis of Huntingdon’s disease. She has two young teenage children who live in the local area with her ex-partner. Joanne was referred for Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) due to a change of accommodation decision, but was moved a day later before an advocate could get involved.

The home Joanne was moved to is predominantly for older people, but they do have a suite for people with physical disabilities who are of Joanne’s age.

Joanne does not engage in the activities provided at the home, for example bingo and quizzes. Trips out are of a short duration and very local as the home do not have transport or the staffing to allow for more. Joanne becomes bored and distressed when she has no meaningful stimulation and this impacts on her mental health.

The social worker was requesting extra funding to enable Joanne to go out to her day service one day a week and have two hours outreach at the weekend.

The advocate found that for someone of Joanne’s age and complex needs, the placement was costing far less than may be expected. There were no appropriate alternative placements in the local area. A further move, that would meet Joanne’s needs would not have been likely and would have cost considerably more, and would have been further away from her children. This would have meant that they would not be able to visit so easily, and this would have negatively impacted on the family.

The IMCA supported the social worker’s request for additional funding. The IMCA report concluded that Joanne’s current placement would only meet her needs with the proposed additional support, and that there were no suitable alternative options available.

The report also stated that they did not believe that the original decision regarding Joanne’s change of accommodation had been taken in line with the Mental Capacity Act.

The additional funding was initially denied but with persistence on Joanne’s behalf this was eventually awarded.

Joanne now enjoys engaging activities and remains near to her family.