Folks - just checking in if others have been impacted by the uncertainly around the Somerset judgement that came out in November.
We were on our path to matching panel this month, but it's now been deferred twice - first from early March to late March, and then to mid April. I just have no confidence now that they will be able to make the mid April date. And I don't know if SWs are just stringing us along.
As I understand it, the issue is that our prospective LOs placement order was made with the ADM reviewing raw medical reports, rather than a summary by the agency medical adviser as required by law. In practice, there is almost no argument that the ADM should have made a different decision (our prospective LO's need for a placement order was not linked to any medical issues). But I get the feeling that his LA are running around like headless chickens trying to figure out how to make it right.
I've read that the courts have asked LAs not to apply to Courts for declarations that placement orders were made correctly even if they followed the wrong procedure - because that would result in a massive flooding of cases. But we're now in a limbo of waiting for guidance to issue (meant to be in 'early March' but our LA now not expecting it for at least another two weeks) before they know how to proceed.
There is also some leeway though where they can apply for a Court declaration in some circumstances, including if a potential match is at risk. So we're not sure whether to say that the delay is causing us to think again* about the match in the hope that it might cause the LA to pull the finger out and try and get this sorted so we can crack on with matching panel and transitions?
*this would be true to an extent - we really don't want to lose this LO, but if there is the potential for it to drag on for months and months, we may need to rethink whether we have the resilience for it, and whether we'd be happy with his new age on placement etc. So it wouldn't be a lie to say that a lengthy delay would put the match at risk.