In March 2014, the Supreme Court issued a judgment on deprivation of liberty, which clarified what may constitute a situation whereby someone can legally have their liberty taken away.

The judgment has a big consequence for those people working in the area of mental capacity. As with any change, there’s likely to be some confusion over the future direction of practice in light of the judgment. That’s why two new films and an updated briefing will help those professionals on the frontline, and others. The resources, from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) look at how sometimes there’s a case for depriving people of their liberty; for instance, when someone lacks the capacity to consent to their care and treatment. The decision is taken in order to keep them and others safe from harm.

The three resources are:

  • A film about how the Supreme Court judgment is having an effect in practice
  • A film focusing on real-life case studies and how the judgment is being used
  • An updated At a Glance briefing.

SCIE says that each case must be considered on its own merits, but there are some common themes when looking at whether to deprive people of their liberty; for instance, whether there’s a frequent use of sedation or medication to control behaviour; or, for instance, whether physical restraint is used to control behaviour.