ELEANOR TALLON qualified as a Social Worker in 2008 with a first-class BSc (Hons) in Social Work from the University of Huddersfield. She also holds post graduate certificates at Masters level, in Mental Capacity and Disorder, and Best Interest Assessor (2015). Eleanor is a Registered Social Worker (RSW) and offers a breadth of expertise in multi-agency support planning, risk management, mental capacity, and best interest assessment. She has 15 years of clinical experience in a variety of statutory settings (including learning disability, adult safeguarding, community, hospital, intermediate care, MCA/ DoLS teams) and private brain injury case management.
Over the span of her professional career, Eleanor has acquired an in-depth knowledge of the statutory frameworks and has completed several hundred needs assessments (under the Care Act, 2014) and capacity assessments (under the MCA, 2005) on various welfare and financial decisions. As a Best Interest Assessor, she has completed over two hundred assessments under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) framework, which involved providing evidence to the Court of Protection as part of section 21A proceedings. She also holds a practical knowledge of Re- X procedures and welfare applications made under section 16 (MCA, 2005).
With a predominant focus on supported decision making and promoting the rights of those who may lack capacity to make their own decisions, Eleanor is adept at assessing people who are affected by learning disability, autistic spectrum conditions, dementia, acquired brain injury and other mental impairments. She takes a strength- based and person- centred approach to her work and provides holistic, comprehensive, and legally literate assessments to a high standard.
Additionally, Eleanor has managerial experience, which includes managing safeguarding investigations under section 42 (Care Act 2014) and chairing Adult Safeguarding Case Conferences, Best Interest Meetings, Multi-Disciplinary Team Meetings, and providing direct supervision over staff caseloads. Eleanor also provided quality assurance on DoLS assessments prior to signatory submission and acted as a BIA mentor for colleagues, regularly delivering MCA/ DoLS training as well as guest lecturing and facilitating tutorials at the University of Huddersfield.
Eleanor currently provides expert witness reports for the courts, independent mental capacity assessments for Solicitors/ Deputies and independent DoLS MCA/ BIA assessments for Local Authorities. She delivers bespoke training on DoLS and the Liberty Protection Safeguards and has presented at various private sector events to an audience of Solicitors, Deputies, Psychologists, Case Managers and Service Managers. She also provides independent consultancy to her network of peers on matters relating to the MCA.
Before this Eleanor was employed as a private Case Manager which enhanced her awareness of the needs of those with acquired brain injury. As part of this role Eleanor worked in a multi-disciplinary team and coordinated complex support plans in partnership with the client and their family. She liaised with legal professionals, alongside private sector providers and statutory organisations to promote the client’s ability to achieve their individual rehabilitation goals. Eleanor regularly provided supervision to colleagues (on more complex mental capacity/ safeguarding issues) and developed an internal MCA training programme for her team.
Prior to this Eleanor worked within statutory DoLS Teams and completed extensive assessments under the DoLS framework and as part of CoP proceedings. Within this role Eleanor managed and prioritised DoLS referrals under the ADASS prioritisation tool for an allocated cohort of care homes and provided quality assurance for reports submitted for legal authorisation. Eleanor delivered staff training, student lectures and acted as project lead to develop and implement new MCA templates for use by local authority staff. Additionally, Eleanor produced corporate feedback for the government consultation on LPS, on behalf of the Local Authority.
Before working as a Best Interest Assessor Eleanor was employed as a Deputy Team Manager for a large team of Social Workers, giving direct supervision to 8 staff members. Eleanor managed the busy duty team, screening and prioritising referrals, delegating work for urgent intervention/ case allocation and implemented a new duty system as part of a process review to improve service delivery. She also acted as Safeguarding Manager for several safeguarding investigations, chairing Safeguarding Case Conferences and attending MARAC meetings. Further to this she authorised budgets for resource allocation and made joint commissioning decisions with health partners within Decision Support Tool (DST) Meetings.
Prior to this role Eleanor was based within an Adult Safeguarding Team as a Duty Social Worker where she responded to initial concerns and made further enquiries to collate information and ensure the vulnerable person was protected from the immediate risk of harm, this involved urgent visits and liaising with the community teams and other partners (such as the police, mental health services, district nurses, charity organisations, housing and advocacy). She completed strategy reports and gave recommendations in terms of proceeding with section 42 enquiries (Care Act 2014) or referring to other agencies as part of a risk management approach.
Before this Eleanor worked within Adult Community and Hospital Discharge Teams which involved attending Multi-Disciplinary Team Meetings within the hospital and responding to referrals for discharge packages. She also completed assessments in the community for domiciliary support, Direct Payments, 24-hour care and Continuing Healthcare funding. As part of this role, she made safeguarding enquiries and coordinated investigations, completing Safeguarding Enquiry Reports, as well as completing Mental Capacity/ Best Interests Assessments for welfare and finance decisions. She also completed several Human Rights Assessments for ‘persons from abroad’ with no recourse to public funds.
Earlier in her career Eleanor worked within Child Protection and Looked After Children Teams, which involved completing reports under section 47 (Children’s Act 1989) for Child Protection Case Conferences, and chairing Core Group Meetings to implement Child Protection Plans. She completed section 25 reports for secure accommodation, kinship viability (fostering) assessments and provided reports for court in relation to interim placement orders, supervision orders and section 7 reports. Eleanor also worked on duty, which involved visits with the police, referring to paediatric consultants at Leeds General Infirmary to assess injuries, and arranging emergency placements for children at risk from significant harm (working in line with proceedings initiated under the Public Law Outline).
Eleanor began her career as a Social Worker in an integrated Adult Learning Disability Team, where she was based alongside Psychiatrists, Nurses, Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists. She completed complex needs assessments and coordinated long term support for individuals and families, working jointly with bespoke providers, Shared Lives and the Transitions Team. She also undertook safeguarding investigations for adults with LD who were at significant risk of harm.
Through her practical and academic learning, Eleanor has gained a rich knowledge around individuals who present with mental disorder and distressed behaviours, who may require tailored support and scaffolding to mitigate risks as well as promote their wellbeing and inclusion in the wider society. Eleanor’s work is underpinned by her understanding and application of domestic law, most critically the Mental Capacity Act 2005, it’s interface with the Mental Health Act 1983 (amended 2007), as well as European law (ECHR Article 5 and 8). This informs a robust assessment, reflective analysis, and astute recommendations.