Commenting on the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill which is reaching the committee stage where it will be scrutinised by Lords, Glen Garrod, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), said:
“Supporting the safeguarding of people’s rights where they may not have the capacity to do is a fundamentally important safeguard for extremely vulnerable people.
“We supported the Government's intention to review how this legislation was working following the Cheshire West judgement and, the subsequent work by the Law Commission. However we have serious concerns about how the current Bill is drafted, in particular around the expectation that care home managers will be responsible for the assessments that are required to authorise the deprivation of a person’s liberty, when that person lives in a care home. This raises concerns regarding real or perceived conflicts of interest and capacity and capability.
“Planning care and assessing whether deprivation of liberty is in a person’s best interest when they are unable to decide for themselves are completely different things.
“It is essential these issues are fully understood and that the implications are clear for local authorities as both commissioner and responsible body under this Bill.
“What is of critical importance however is that the system that replaces DoLS has to be an improvement on its predecessor, not least for the sake of those who need it to safeguard and protect their human rights.”
Please see below for link to the full ADASS Statement issued this week.