The Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards provide a legal framework for hospitals and care homes to obtain a power to lawfully deprive people who are using their services of their liberty. This applies when they lack capacity to consent to their care or treatment. The safeguards aim to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
This Care Quality Commission (CQC) report is the first from the new body fulfilling their duty to monitor the application of the safeguards.
CQC found some hospitals and care homes demonstrating good practice in with some making good progress in ensuring that staff were aware of their duty under the safeguards.
They found that many PCTs and councils had made good progress in implementing mechanisms set out in the Safeguards, working together to establish joint teams to fulfil their supervisory body role.
However, there was variation in organisations’ understanding and practice of the Safeguards and in staff training with many managers and staff unaware of the Safeguards and having received no training.
CQC found many examples of the use of restraint or restricting people’s movement where staff had failed to consider such practices as a deprivation of liberty.
CQC recommend the Department of Health develop clear and concise briefings on what constitutes a ‘deprivation of liberty’ are accessible and easily applied to practice and that health and social care staff should be trained effectively. They also suggest that the DH consider whether it may be possible to reduce the amount of paperwork needed to use the Safeguards.