About us - The Association of Directors of Adults Social Services (ADASS)
The Association of Directors of Adults Social Services (ADASS) is a registered charity which aims to further the interests of people in need of social care by promoting high standards of social care services and influencing the development of social care legislation and policy. The membership is drawn from all the serving directors of adult social care employed by local authorities in England. Our objectives include:
- furthering comprehensive, equitable, social policies and plans which reflect and shape the economic and social environment of the time.
- furthering the interests of those who need social care services regardless of their background and status
- promoting high standards of social care services
Social care provides care, support, and safeguards for those people in our communities who have the highest level of need and for their carers. Good care and support transforms lives, helping people to live good lives, or the best they can, in a variety of circumstances.
About the Bill
ADASS supports the safeguarding of people’s rights where they may not have the capacity to make significant decisions and where they may be deprived of their liberty. This is a fundamentally important safeguard for people who are in extremely vulnerable circumstances and whose human rights may be compromised. We support a proportionate approach - through a streamlined assessment process focusing on whether care might be given differently and whether any restrictions are the least that are absolutely necessary.
It is recognised that much of the detail regarding implementation is likely to be worked through in the development of the Code of Practice. ADASS has, however, concerns about the Bill itself, as drafted. Our concerns relate chiefly to the expectation that Care Home Managers will be responsible for the assessments required to authorise the deprivation of a person’s liberty, when that person lives in their care home. ADASS has shared concerns with both the Care Quality Commission and the Care Provider Alliance (CPA).
Whilst registered care providers have previously been required to assess individuals, to determine that they can meet the person’s needs and to undertake care planning, they have not been required to assess to protect people’s liberty. Planning care and assessing whether deprivation of liberty is in a person’s best interest when they are unable to decide for themselves are very different things. ADASS therefore believes this to be a new activity, requiring new skills and resources. We have real concerns relating to a) care home capacity, b) care home staff competence, c) perverse incentives and potential conflicts of interests, d) additional cost (for training and for additional capacity) and e) whether and how such costs will be resourced. These concerns need to be addressed to uphold the human rights of individuals, regardless of whether they fund their own care in the care home or their service is funded by a local authority or a CCG. It is also essential to ensure that there is no risk to the quality of service provided by the care home.
It is essential that these issues are fully understood and that the implications are clear for local authorities as both commissioner and responsible body under this Bill. They need to be addressed to ensure that the system that replaces DoLS is an improvement on its predecessor, for those that need it to safeguard their human rights.
ADASS also supports the inclusion of 16 and 17 year olds in the scope of the Bill. We note that a range of amendments have been proposed, which may go some way to allay these concerns.