Deprivation Of Liberty
Deprivation Of Liberty
What is Deprivation Of Liberty Safeguards?
Sometimes a vulnerable person who lacks capacity needs to be restricted in order to provide treatment or care which is necessary in their best interests to protect them from harm. The degree and level of the restrictions may amount to a deprivation of liberty (DOL).
In 2009 it became a legal requirement to apply for an authorisation in order to deprive someone of their liberty. To do this, the Managing Authority (MA) must put in an application to the supervisory body (SB). The SB will then carry out a series of 6 assessments to decide if it is right to deprive the person (known as the relevant person) of their liberty.
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A DOLS IMCA is a specialist advocate. They work with people from vulnerable client groups with all nature of impairments that can leave someone lacking capacity. They are independent of the MA and SB, and they safeguard the rights of people who lack capacity. The role of a DOLS IMCA is different to that of a general IMCA in 3 ways:
- They only deal with issues relating to deprivation of liberty applications/authorisations
- DOLS referrals to our service are received by us directly from the Supervisory Body, (SB) – after they receive an application for DOL from the Managing Authority, (MA)
- The relevant person must be 18 years old or over
The Supervisory Body (SB) can instruct a DOLS IMCA to take on one of the following roles: Section 39A DOLS IMCA – To act when the Relevant Person (RP) is un-befriended i.e. has no family or friends to act on their behalf, known as the Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR). The SB will instruct a DOLS IMCA to represent the person during the assessment process, with a particular focus on the ‘best interest’ assessment. The assessment process must be completed within 7 days for urgent authorisations, where a DOL is already happening or 21 days for a standard authorisation where there is a proposed DOL. The 39A DOLS IMCA role is similar to the original IMCA role including:
- Enabling RP participation
- Seeking and evaluating information
- Finding alternatives, challenging (if appropriate)
- Submitting a report to the SB around the values, wishes and beliefs in relation to the decision
The 39A DOLS IMCA role is similar to the original IMCA role including:
- Access to authorisations and assessments
- The right to take the RP’s DOLS case to the Court of Protection
Section 39C DOLS IMCA – To act, after the authorisation has been granted, as the RPR (when the person who is deprived of liberty is temporarily without an RPR). The IMCA will represent and assist the RP during the period of the authorisation.
Section 39D DOLS IMCA – To support the RP, the RPR or both after the authorisation has been granted. The IMCA will represent and assist the person, their representative, or both during the authorisation period.
All names and key details have been changed, to protect the client’s right to confidentiality.
Photographs shown are also not representative of the actual person.
An 84 year old gentleman with a diagnosis of dementia was placed in nursing care after 2 previous care home placement breakdowns. The family were at breaking point and under the safeguarding process for alleged financial abuse. The gentleman was subject to a 12 month Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLs) authorisation and an IMCA DOL visited where he reported he was unhappy at the care home and wished to return home. IMCA DOL listened to his views and supported him to challenge the nursing placement. Following a review of the DOLS authorisation this generated a best interest meeting resulting in the gentleman returning home where he has now happily been since October 2019. The IMCA DOL has visited him in the community and although the gentleman was unable to remember them he could remember how unhappy he was being at the care home and was very thankful for being at home with his cat. The IMCA DOL put the views, wishes and feelings of the gentlemen in the centre of the decision making process and ensured his rights were upheld under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Authorisation that he was subject to.