Woman at centre of legal row over visits may have to leave care home, judge told

Brian Farmer, PA
·2-min read

A 58-year-old woman who has brain damage and is at the centre of litigation relating to care home visits during the coronavirus crisis may have to move, a judge has heard.

Retired academic John Davies, of Wigan, Greater Manchester, last year began legal action on his wife Michelle’s behalf in a bid to ensure she received visits tailored to her needs.

Dr Davies said Ms Davies, who is in a care home as a result of suffering a stroke, should not be subject to a blanket visiting policy.

Michelle Davies with her husband John
Michelle Davies with her husband John (Irwin Mitchell /PA)

A barrister representing Dr and Ms Davies told a judge overseeing the litigation that the couple had now begun to spend “meaningful time” together after negotiations with care home managers.

Lorraine Cavanagh QC told Mr Justice Hayden that Dr Davies had seen his wife four times in the past two weeks.

But she said care home bosses had also now told him that Ms Davies’s placement was being terminated.

Bosses had said they thought that Dr Davies felt they could not meet Ms Davies’s needs, she added.

She said Dr Davies, who hoped that his wife might be able to return home before the end of the year, was happy with the care his wife was getting and did not want her to move.

John Davies, of Wigan Greater, Manchester, last year took legal action on his wife Michelle's behalf in a bid to ensure she got visits tailored to her needs.
A judge based in London is overseeing hearings in the Court of Protection (Nick Ansell/PA)

Mr Justice Hayden said a period of “calm reflection” was called for.

The judge, who is based in London, is overseeing hearings in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves are considered.

He has heard how Ms Davies, a former council clerk, had a stroke in late 2018 and suffered brain damage.

Dr Davies had wanted the judge to rule that Ms Davies should have daily face-to-face contact with him and their son Kane, who is in his 30s.

He had told the judge late last year of his heartbreak at not being allowed to have “any meaningful contact” with his wife for eight months.

Dr Davies said he was aware of the danger that coronavirus posed but wanted a “common sense approach”.

He said he thought that being denied the “involvement of family and friends” had “hindered” Ms Davies’s progress significantly.