On Elaine McDonald OBE

Picture of Elaine McDonald, an elderly white woman with red hair wearing a pink jumper, sitting next to a younger white woman wearing a purple jacket over a black top, holding a book at which Elaine McDonald is pointing.Elaine McDonald was the lady at the centre of a notorious 2011 Supreme Court ruling (see earlier blog in which she challenged the decision of Kensington and Chelsea borough council to refuse her a night-time care visit to help her to the toilet, expecting her to use incontinence pads instead, claiming that others had objected but got used to them. Sadly the court ruled in the council’s favour, although in 2014, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in her favour.

I wrote about the Supreme Court case in 2011. It is worth noting that this had been ongoing for many years, since before the Coalition took power, and had nothing to do with the public spending cuts and disability benefit reforms that were taking place then. I am currently in contact with a woman who is moving into a council bungalow in the new year and is being faced with a similar situation; she is talking about taking legal action against the relevant authorities and the McDonald case will certainly be relevant to that. I covered that towards the end of this entry about toilet facilities for disabled people generally.

Alison Cameron has written a tribute, which describes her career and performances as a ballerina in Scotland and her encounters with Elaine and her husband, Donald MacLeish, who later became her carer in her old age, after she suffered the stroke that precipitated the 2011 case.

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