Sometimes, people caring for you need to make decisions to keep you safe, or to enable treatment to be administered and monitored. Routines may need to be set, and you would be prevented from leaving your place of residence.
Taking away someone’s freedom to leave their home or hospital ward, is called a ‘deprivation of liberty’. The law says that to do this, the hospital or care home must get permission, and certain things have to happen before permission is given. This is called a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and includes:
- A capacity assessment to find out if the person is able to make their own decisions;
- The right to a representative – If the person does not have a family member or friend who is able to represent them as a RPR (Relevant Persons Representative), an RPPR (a paid rep.) will be instructed by the local authority.
- When a DoLS is granted, the representative (advocate) checks it remains a legal deprivation, and will speak up if they are worried about the care or treatment.
- The advocate can also support the person to raise any objections they have to their current placement, called a Section 21a Court of Protection appeal.
- If there are conditions attached to the DoLS, as an additional layer of safeguards for the person, the advocate will ensure these are being adhered to.