The House of Lords Select Committee on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 has found that safeguards introduced to protect vulnerable patients are not working, and that possibly tens of thousands of vulnerable adults may be being deprived of their liberty in care homes without the protection of the law. The report concludes that these vulnerable adults are being failed by the Mental Capacity Act.
The Mental Capacity Act (2005) introduced principles aimed at protecting people with mental illnesses, including those with dementia or severe learning difficulties. In practice, however, there is evidence that social workers, healthcare professionals and others involved in the care of vulnerable adults are sometimes unaware of the act and / or fail to implement it as intended.
“The Committee is recommending that an independent body is given responsibility for oversight of the Act in order to drive forward vital changes in practice. The Committee also found that the controversial Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards DoLS, inserted into the Mental Capacity Act in 2007 by the Mental Health Act, are not fit for purpose. The Committee is recommending that the DoLS be replaced with legislation that is in keeping with the language and ethos of the Mental Capacity Act as a whole”.
Patients ‘imprisoned’ in care homes, report finds. London: BBC Health News, March 13th 2014.
This relates to:
House Of Lords, Select Committee on the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Report of Session 2013–14. Mental Capacity Act 2005: post-legislative scrutiny. Published by the Authority of the House of Lords. London : The Stationery Office, March 13th 2014. HL Paper 139.
Possibly also of interest:
Tameside hospital inspection finds ‘serious shortfalls’. Manchester: BBC News Manchester, March 20th 2014.