Under the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) scheme, Local Authorities acting as Supervisory Bodies can authorise a deprivation of liberty without every case going through the court process. When the Liberty Protection Safeguards are introduced in 2020, the scheme will provide a similar vehicle through which a deprivation of liberty can be authorised.
There are three conditions that must be met before a responsible body (no longer called a supervisory body), which is a local authority, hospital manager or clinical commissioning group, may authorise the arrangements that amount to a deprivation of liberty:
The responsible body may authorise the arrangements if they are satisfied that:
This process provides the necessary scrutiny to ensure that people are only deprived of their liberty where necessary. Although the scope, roles and process differs from the current DoLS scheme, it has many similarities.
However, if the arrangements are in a care home, the process starts to take a very different direction from the current DoLS scheme. Under the Liberty Protection Safeguards, the responsible body may decide, if they so wish, to ask the care home manager to provide a written statement to confirm that points 1-5 above have been met.
So, for people whose care doesn’t change a great deal from one authorisation to the next, we may see this option being used to ensure that people aren’t unlawfully deprived of their liberty whilst waiting for another authorisation because most of the preparatory work can be completed by the care home manager. If this option is exercised, it will still be the role of the responsible body to authorise the arrangements.
After they have authorised the arrangements, the responsible body must, without delay, send a copy of the authorisation record to certain people including the cared for person. In any case, this should be within 72 hours. If it doesn’t take place within this time frame, they must review and record why.
An authorisation record is a record relating to a cared-for person, specifying all arrangements authorised by the responsible body. As part of the authorisation process, a draft authorisation record will have already been prepared and this will become the authorisation record. The authorisation record may include any information, but must include the following:
The responsible body must revise the authorisation record if there is any change in any of the matters that required to be specified in it.