Section 117 After-Care

What is section 117 after-care?

Some people who have been in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983, i.e. were “sectioned” may be entitled to receive ongoing care and support after they leave hospital. The basic premise of 117 (‘one-one-seven’) after-care is that ongoing care must fulfil the following criteria:

  • The on-going support meets needs that you have because of the mental health condition that caused you to be detained, and
  • The support reduces the chance of your condition getting worse, so you don’t have to go back into hospital.

In many cases older people can make a case that residential care in a care home meets both criteria.

Does Section 117 cover care home fees?

Section 117 is relatively unknown to most people and poorly understood by many local authorities. Often, individuals will not receive the funding they are entitled to as a result of poor or omitted advice. Essentially, it obliges councils and the NHS to fund care services, including a care home placements, if that is needed for those people that qualify as per the criteria listed below.

How much does Section 117 pay towards care home fees?

The exact amount that the LA will pay towards your care under a 117 will vary based on several factors, but it is often the case that they only pay up to their maximum social service rate.  Depending on which home you choose you may find there is a difference or “shortfall” between what the LA will pay and what the home charges.

In those cases, you can make up the difference with a third party top up, where the difference is paid for by a family member or friend. Or unusually, with a Section 117, the individual can pay a first person top up, where they cover the shortfall from their own personal finances.

Note – first person top ups cannot be made for most LA or NHS funded options.

Who is entitled to 117 after-care?

When people have been treated for a serious mental health disorder that has resulted in them being sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983 under the following:

  • Detained in hospital for treatment under section 3
  • Transferred from prison to hospital under sections 47 or 48, or
  • Ordered to go to hospital by a court under sections 37 or 45A.

You will be entitled to after care support when you leave hospital.

However, you will not be entitled to 117 after-care if you have been in hospital under sections 2, 4, 5, 35, or 38 of the Mental Health Act.

Can your 117 be cancelled?

There are circumstances when the right to receive 117 funding can be challenged by the LA and your eligibility withdrawn. No withdrawal of eligibility can take place without a thorough investigation and assessment, and only then following the agreements of a multi-disciplinary meeting. However, bear in mind that these are often complicated and long-winded legislations.

If you have to decide on continued eligibility or entitlement to financial support for care fees, we advise seeking sound legal advice from a well-qualified and highly experienced advisor who specialises in this area.

For more information or if you wish to discuss care for your loved one please email