When providing care to persons who experience cognitive impairments we are required to adhere to two legislative safeguards.
Deprivation Of Liberty Safeguards
This is an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 via the Mental Health Act 2007, which adds Deprivation of Liberty safeguards to the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
The key point is that people who suffer from a disorder or disability of the mind, such as dementia, and who lack the mental capacity to consent to the care or treatment they need, should be cared for in a way that does not limit their rights or freedom of action. However, the Government accepts that in some cases members of this vulnerable group need to be deprived of their liberty for treatment or care because this is necessary in their best interest to protect them from harm.
Whenever a hospital or care home identifies that a person who lacks capacity is being, or risks being, deprived of their liberty, they must apply to the social service department of there host local authority, for authorisation of Deprivation of Liberty. Authorisation should be obtained in advance, unless the need is urgent, and an urgent authorisation may be issued by the home or hospital for a maximum of 7 days. When a supervisory body receives a request for a Deprivation of Liberty they have to carry out six assessments. If the person’s needs meet these six assessments, then a Deprivation of Liberty authorisation is given and a person is appointed to represent the person’s best interests. These authorisations cannot last longer than 12 months.