Friday, 12 February 2010

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Bournewood case generated legal inconsistencies that notionally have been solved through the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS).

If someone's liberty is "restricted," this can lawfully happen within the Mental Capacity Act 2005 framework, if it's in the person's best interests. An example would be someone saying they wish to leave a care home and return home, but they're guided to have a cup of tea and moments later they're happy and chatting with other residents.

If the resident was hammering at the door, 'phoning for taxis to take them away all the time, sneaking out at every opportunity and adamantly refused to stay, that crosses from "restriction" to "deprivation" of liberty and the DOLS framework kicks in.

Grand. Folks get appropriate care, within a lawful framework.

On to a conversation I overheard this week :

Community mental health nurse (band 7 CPN) : "The patient's settled, the occasional comments she'd rather be at home can be managed as 'restriction' of liberty, not 'deprivation' in the care you've now structured in the detail within your care plans."

Care home manager : "Great, thank you."

CMHN : "If she progresses and makes persistent, active attempts to leave, we'll need to consider DOLS."

Manager : "Oh yes, we use doll therapy all the time to distract them."

1 comment:

Mandy said...

I think it is so easy...too easy for 'professionals' to use legislation to control people (particularly those in care or acute environments)...to the point where they aren't sure what their rights are and there certainly aren't people, such as advocates, in place and if there are they aren't actively doing anything to ensure that people know their rights and are being treated fairly.

Having said that I doubt my Dad would be here if 'external control' had not been used.

I was an active player in taking away his liberty. Okay it was because I was fearing for his life but I am acutely aware of the fact that he didn't have the final say. I did get advocacy involved and tried to hand responsibility for him to be made aware of his rights and have someone speaking for him to them but afer a month or so the advocates disappeared off the scene and no reason was given.

I often feel very torn and I think is important for those in care environments to have advocates (independant ones). There would have to be some kind of revolution in the advocacy sector because, at present, they don't seem consistent or bothered with much that isn't to do with bureaucracy and often seem to have less of an idea what is going on than the people they are there to help.

Liberties....Beware who is put in charge of ensuring people get them.