The featured paper is a Department of Health consultation document on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards entitled ‘Mental Capacity Act 2005 Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: consultation on the Mental Capacity (Deprivation of Liberty: Monitoring and Reporting) and (Deprivation of Liberty: Standard Authorisations, Assessments and Ordinary Residence) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 and which is freely available here.
The document is a brief but interesting one which contains a set of questions for the reader and an invitation for the reader to submit feedback before the deadline in January 2009. Essentially the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are a set of safeguards that are applied to people who have or might have their liberty restricted through the use of the Mental Capacity Act. This arose in response to a European Court of Human Rights Judgement on the case HL v UK 2004. This consultation document covers a number of proposed amendments.
The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is being set up to oversee the implementation of schedule A1 to the Mental Capacity Act and within the document is the proposal that this commission should prepare a periodic report on the implementation. The requirements of the assessors are also stipulated in terms of indemnity and insurance.
There is also a proposal that the commission is able to visit hospitals and care homes, interview people within care homes and hospitals and also expect reports to be prepared on request by the care homes and hospitals.
It can be argued that whilst there will be increased bureaucracy from the implementation of this amendment to the Mental Capacity Act there will be expected to be a corresponding increase in resources allocated to the consideration of these issues in patients. While it can be argued that such actions already take place without the need for formalisation, the act of formalising the process brings its own benefits.
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