Having mental capacity means being able to understand and retain information and then make a decision 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.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards protect people:
- who lack mental capacity from being detained when this is not in their best interests
- to give people the right to challenge a decision
If a care home or hospital think that someone is being cared for in a way that deprives them of their liberty, they have to apply to the council for the deprivation of liberty to be legally authorised.
Newham Council is responsible for arranging for the person to have a number of assessments before deciding whether or not to grant that authorisation.
These will be carried out by two independent assessors, a doctor and the best interest assessor.
The best interest assessor can be a:
- social worker
- an occupational therapist or psychologist
The best interests' assessor will be finding out whether:
- the care or treatment is a deprivation of liberty
- in the person's best interests and necessary to prevent harm to them
This person is not involved in any planning or decision-making about the person's care or treatment.
We will consult:
- relatives and other people close to the person
- involve a special advocate in some cases
The deprivation of liberty can be authorised for a limited time. We will reassessed the situation to make sure the deprivation of liberty continues to be lawful.
We will appoint a suitable representative if the person is being deprived of their liberty and this is in their best interest. A best interest. A representative can be a family member, friend or relative.
If you believe that someone in a care home or hospital is being deprived of their liberty without authorisation, you may write to the hospital or care home about your concern and ask for an assessment.
If you have contacted the care home or hospital and did not get a satisfactory response, you may write to:
Safeguarding Adults Governance Team
West Wing Second Floor
1000 Dockside Road
Fax:020 8430 1022
Telephone: 020 3373 9731
Alternatively you can send an email highlighting your concerns.
If you are currently subject to a Deprivation of Liberty authorisation and wish to have it reviewed, please contact us or the care home manager who will request a review on your behalf.
Court of protection - more information
You can apply to the court of protection to appeal against the Deprivation of Liberty authorisation.
For further information email the Deprivation of Liberty inbox using the link above or click on the link below.