The elusive personal welfare order

A last-ditch effort to help the family of a woman with complex care needs apply for a welfare order.

Sophie* has learning disabilities and is cared for by a wide variety of medical teams who don’t always have access to her full, complex history. Her brother and his wife had been by her side for years – until recently when they found themselves being excluded from decision making. Without the couple’s familiarity with Sophie’s needs, the care home and various medical professionals were starting to make mistakes.


Looking for a solution, they had come across welfare orders and contacted the team at Anthony Collins Solicitors for help applying.

Tempering expectations

Before we took on the case, we wanted to make sure the clients knew just how rare a personal welfare order is. The order gives the welfare deputy such broad powers over another person’s life that it’s only granted in exceptional circumstances. Even then it’s usually granted to a parent for a child, rather than for siblings as in this case.


Fortunately for Mr and Mrs M, we have experience of personal welfare orders and know what is and isn’t needed in the application. After learning the full situation, we felt this case had a better-than-usual chance of success.

Gathering the evidence

A common mistake when putting together applications like this is simply providing the court with too much information to take in. The clients had years of medical history in thousands of documents. We picked out the information that the judge would need to see to make an informed decision and showed how a personal welfare order would be in Sophie’s best interests.


Five months later, we had passed both stages of the application and the court orders came through. The clients were delighted that they can once again act as Sophie’s voice. Now they can make decisions on her behalf, like where she should live, what medical treatment she should consent to and which activities she can do.


“We commend you for the work you have put into the success of this, as we were well aware that it wasn’t going to be easy.”
Client testimonial from Mr and Mrs M


* Client name has been changed

Puja Desai
0121 214 3483
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