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The house of lord report is a challenge to us all says Lucy Bonnerjea at todays Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Conference

Lucy BonnerjeaLucy Bonnerjea

Lucy Bonnerjea Policy Lead for Mental Capacity Act Department of Health speaking today at the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Conference

The HoL Report
The House of Lords Report is a challenge to us all.
To central government - to review how we are acting as stewards of health and social care and of justice
To local government – to review how well the MCA is embedded in day to day practice – in what the report calls ‘risk averse practice’,
To the NHS – to review whether ‘paternalism’ is effecting our ability to implement, to deliver, to promote the rights of people
These are big challenges for us all

‘The Empowering ethos has not been delivered’.
Prevailing cultures
isk averseness in social care
Paternalism in NHS
Professional  judgements or resource led decisions more important than P’s wishes and feelings
Least restrictive option not adequately considered

What is new – Supreme Court Judgement
We are doing more of what we did before.. Providing more safeguards
There is a new definition, but same procedures, same paperwork, same referral systems..
We need to think about whether all our clients may be deprived of their liberty.. And make referrals…
We need to think of DOLS as a friend, as a safeguard, as something positive ..
We need to be proud that we are thinking about human rights, proud that we are using extra safeguards, proud that we embrace and embed the MCA

We mustn’t be overwhelmed by quantity and must be careful about quality of assessments, about still making challenges, of the importance of not authorising some care.
We must think what ‘less restrictive’ means in all settings
We must start thinking about DOLS in the community and making referrals to the Court to authorise these.  The DoL safeguards are an important part of social care, of care planning, mustn’t lose them in the bureaucracy. They are possibly the best things that has happened in social care – they offer protection for the most vulnerable and they raise liberty as a key issue for all in social care

Lucy said the following on the Mental Capacity Act:
The MCA is a hugely visionary piece of legislation and is built on strong empowering values and vision but we need to learn to use it better. 

It has the potential to be of huge benefit to very vulnerable people and to lead to a high quality social care which we can be proud of. One of the ways to use it to ‘Think Liberty’.

Lucy concluded her presentation by saying “Protecting and Promoting Liberty – underpins the MCA, underpins ECHR, underpins the Care Act…It needs to be part of our thinking, our care planning, our reviews, our job descriptions, supervision.. Part of all health and social care.”

Scroll down for full presentation 

Events of Interest:

Adult Safeguarding under the Care Act 2014
Monday 17 November London

Delivering a High Quality Elder Friendly Service
Wednesday 10 December London

Undertaking Adult Safeguarding Investigations & Serious Case Reviews
Thursday 11 December London

Download: Lucy Bonnerjea Presentation

13 October 2014


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