CQC report indicates that increasing numbers of vulnerable people are being protected


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Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS), Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005, Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults (SOVA), MCA&DoLs (Combined),

A report by the CQC has found that more people than ever before are being protected by Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. The safeguards apply to vulnerable people aged 18 or over who are in hospitals, care homes and supported living, and who do not have the mental capacity (ability) to make decisions about their care or treatment. These safeguards, which are part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, aim to protect individuals by ensuring they are looked after in a way that does not limit their freedom inappropriately.

There has been a significant increase in the applications to use the safeguards since March 2014 when the Supreme Court clarified that a person lacking mental capacity to consent is deprived of their liberty if they are both not free to leave, and under continuous supervision and control.

The CQC has welcomed the rise in applications and has stated that this increase:

“shows willingness among providers to protect the rights of individuals, and encourages external scrutiny of their care when a vulnerable person might be deprived of their liberty.”

Included in the report, which was published on 26th January 2015, the CQC has made the following recommendations:

“Local authorities continue to consider the use of advocacy for all those subject to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

Local authority leads for the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards create good working relationships with their local coroners. This is likely to be of great benefit to ensure that a consistent message is given to providers and so that they can work together in dealing with the considerable extra activity as a result of the Supreme Court judgment.

Local authorities and Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA) providers work together to enable IMCAs to carry out their role to support the person or their unpaid Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR) to challenge an authorisation to the Court of Protection when it is the person’s wish, whatever the IMCA’s views on the rightness of the authorisation.”

An official infographic has been made available to show some of the key information from the report:

20150126_DoLS_infographic

The full report can be viewed on the CQC website