Every day, we make decisions about our lives. These decisions could be about simple things like what we eat or what we wear. They could also be about more major things like our health, our care and our finances.
Our ability to make decisions is called mental capacity.
Making decisions on behalf of individuals
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides the legal framework for acting and making decisions on behalf of individuals who lack the mental capacity to make particular decisions for themselves.
For everyone working with and/or caring for an adult, who may lack capacity to make a specific decision for themselves, the same rules apply whether the decisions are life-changing events or everyday matters.
Making Decisions - Guides to the Mental Capacity Act
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) provide protection for adults who are accommodated in hospitals or care homes in circumstances that amount to a deprivation of their liberty and who lack the capacity to consent to the care or treatment they need.
In March 2014 the UK Supreme Court clarified the test for Deprivation of Liberty for adults who lack capacity to make decisions about their accommodation, including admission to hospital. The “acid test” is:
- The person is under continuous supervision and control and
- Is not free to leave, and
- The person lacks capacity to consent to these arrangements.
The Mental Capacity Act (DoLS) provide that deprivation of liberty:
- Should be avoided whenever possible.
- Should only be authorised in cases where it is in the person's best interests and the only way to keep them safe.
- Should be for as short a time as possible.
- Should only be for a particular plan or course of action.
Care Home, Care Homes with Nursing, Independent Hospitals and Acute Hospitals are Managing Authorities. Managing Authorities must make a referral to the Rochdale Council Supervisory Body in order to lawfully deprive someone of their liberty.
Forms and letters
To make an Application for a Deprivation of Liberty Authorisation or to request a review, send the relevant form by email or fax to:
Fax: 0845 409 3661