Two care home nurses have been described as “heroic” by a judge after agreeing to go into self-isolation in order to help out a mentally-ill resident.
Mr Justice Hayden heard that the resident, a Polish woman in her 60s, wanted to leave a care home in Derbyshire and return to her family in Poland.
He was told, at a hearing in a specialist court on Thursday, that she would need to be accompanied.
Two nurses had agreed to make the trip even though they would have to self-isolate, possibly in a hotel, for at least five days when they returned because of the coronavirus crisis.
The judge approved the plan for the woman to return to her family in Poland, and described the sacrifice of the nurses as heroic.
“Self-isolation in these times is a challenge,” he said.
“But to do it for somebody else – that’s heroic.”
He added: “I don’t know if the public fully appreciates the sacrifices some of our nurses make.”
Mr Justice Hayden, who is based in London, oversaw the woman’s case at a virtual hearing in the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.
Lawyers representing the woman, who used to work in a bank and has lived in England for nearly 50 years, had asked the judge to approve a plan for her to leave England.
They said she wanted to return to her family in Silesia, relatives could care for her, and she could pay for her care.
The judge concluded that such a move would be in her best interests.
He was told that she could fly to Poland and would not need to self-isolate on arrival if she had a Covid-19 vaccination.
But he heard that nurses would have to accompany her, and would have to self-isolate when they got back.
Mr Justice Hayden said the woman could not be identified in media reports of the case.