Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Having mental capacity means being able to understand, retain information and then make decisions based on that information.
Some people living in hospitals or care homes cannot make their own decisions about their care and treatment because they do not have the mental capacity to do so.
These people need extra protection to make sure that they do not suffer harm.
For example, in situations where delivering the necessary care requires their personal freedoms to be restricted to the point of actually depriving them of their liberty.
The Supreme Court ruling in March 2014 identified a Deprivation of Liberty as occurring when an individual who lacks capacity to make decisions about their treatment and care is subject to constant supervision and control and is not free to leave.
This could include:
- forcing a person to take medication against their will
- staff exercise complete control over a person's care and movements
- staff making all decisions about a person's assessments, treatments, visitors, being released into the care of others and where they can live
- staff refusing to discharge someone to the care of relatives or others
- preventing someone from seeing friends or family
The Mental Capacity Act / Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (MCA DoLS) covers people in hospitals or care homes:
- who lack the capacity to make their own decisions
- when their personal freedoms need to be restricted in their best interests
Before you apply for an authorisation you should ALWAYS consider providing care or treatment in ways which avoid depriving someone of their liberty.
If you are a social worker or other health care professional and think that someone is being deprived of their liberty, you should:
- discuss the case with the hospital or care home
- advise them to apply for a Deprivation of Liberty authorisation
- report your concerns the to the Practice Manager Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
When a Managing Authority (care home or hospital) completes a request for an authorisation for a Deprivation of Liberty, they
- must believe that it is necessary to deprive a person of their liberty in order to provide them with appropriate care and treatment
- should complete a request for an authorisation for a Deprivation of Liberty
Form 1 - Request for Standard Authorisation
- send the completed request to the Supervisory Body. For people normally resident in Newham, or in placements funded by London Borough of Newham this is:
Email Deprivation of Liberty inbox
Fax: 0208 430 1022
Call: 0203 373 9731
- send a copy of a current care plan of the service user to the DoLS inbox
When the application is received the Newham Practice Manager Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards will arrange for a series of assessments to decide if it is right to deprive the person of their liberty.
More information relating to requesting for a standard authorisationDepartment of Health guide for Managing Authorities
The care home or hospital will then receive an outcome from the Deprivation of Liberty Panel.
People who lack capacity maybe deprived of their liberty in other settings e.g. supported living units.
Providers who are concerned that their care plans in these settings may amount to a Deprivation of Liberty should ask the relevant care manager to consider making an application directly to the Court of Protection.
Not every assessment process will result in an authorisation.
However if you make an authorisation, we will appointment a representative to support the person and look after their interests.
You will need to provide the representative with information about the person's care and treatment.
You must make regular checks to see if you still need the Deprivation of Liberty.
If there has been a change in the person's situation that requires Deprivation of Liberty to be:
- temporarily suspended or
- terminated altogether
we will have to carry out a review.
If we turn down an authorisation request, you must not deprive the person of their liberty.
You will need to take alternative steps and will be advised about this.
For further information, please contact:
Cathy Newcombe - Practice Manager for Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Call: 0203 373 9731
Kay Hyatt - Practice Manager for Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Call: 0203 373 3934