Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage has written an open letter addressing concerns over the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill. The letter sets out the need for reform to the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards system, and addresses concerns from Inclusion London around conflict of interest, advocacy and provision of information in the proposals.
The Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament, has activated a backlash from social care leaders and stakeholders who maintain it creates a conflict of interest by passing responsibility on decisions over deprivation of liberty to care home managers (see Ministers urged to eliminate conflict of interest in mental capacity proposals).
Addressing these concerns, the Minister said: “We have built in protections against conflicts of interest for those making decisions about a person’s deprivation of liberty. Before an authorisation is given, it must be reviewed by someone who is not involved in the day-to-day care or in providing any treatment to the person: in care home cases, it cannot be completed by care home staff or the manager.”
The Minister said deprivation of liberty authorisations would be granted where arrangements were “necessary and proportionate to prevent harm to the person” and would not be more restrictive than needed.
She added that authorisations would not be based on “convenience or cost” and there would remain an entitlement to independent advocacy.