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Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards help to protect people who cannot consent to their care arrangements in a care home or hospital. An assessment is carried out to check any arrangements are necessary and in the person’s best interests.

These are an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, as this act allows restraint and restrictions to be used (only if it isin a person's best interests).

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards can only be used if the person will be deprived of their liberty in a care home or hospital. In other settings the Court of Protection can authorise a deprivation of liberty.

Care homes or hospitals must ask a local authority if they can deprive a person of their liberty. This is called requesting a standard authorisation.

There are six assessments which have to take place before a standard authorisation can be given.

If a standard authorisation is given, one key safeguard is that the person has someone appointed with legal powers to represent them. This is called the relevant person's representative and will usually be a family member or friend.

Other safeguards include rights to challenge authorisations in the Court of Protection, and access to Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs).

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