Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [HL]

Written evidence submitted by Nick Woodhead (MCAB26)

Executive summary

1. This raises a single point of concern about the creation of responsible bodies. The proposals will add burdens and bureaucracy instead of reducing them.

Introduction

2. I have been working with The Mental Capacity Act and its Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards since before both existed. I was actively involved in preparing Somerset County Council and The Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for the initial and ongoing implementation of both. I regularly provide training to members of the public and all levels of staff on the MCA and DoLS, and my role within Somerset Partnership involves providing advice to staff on a daily basis.

3. I have chosen to raise just one point, because I am aware that other individuals and organisations are raising others and I would only be repeating their points if I made them here. I am not aware of this point being raised by anyone else.

Point of Concern

4. One of the primary reasons for repealing the DoLS scheme is that it is considered overly bureaucratic. My concern is that, in one particular area, the proposed LPS scheme will require more bureaucracy than the DoLS. This is in the area of the current supervisory body. The DoLS scheme requires that Local Authorities act as supervisory bodies. This allows for one central place to develop the skills and systems required to check and then authorise any application for a standard authorisation.

5. The proposed LPS scheme, however, will create ‘responsible bodies’, and each will become responsible for doing what is currently carried out by Local Authorities. A role currently done by one organisation will have to be done by three (hospital managers, CCGs and local authorities).

6. This will force the creation of 3 separate systems, each carrying out the same function independently. It will require the creation of new roles/systems/ policies and procedures within NHS Trusts and CCGs. It will require training of the people fulfilling the roles, and the creation of governance/assurance systems.

7. On a national scale this will equate to a very significant extra burden on NHS Trusts and CCGs.

Recommendation:

8. Either the creation/continuation of a single responsible body for each local authority/Borough area, or that the creation of all these extra responsible bodies be fully supported and considered as part of the costs involved in implementing the LPS.

January 2019

 

Prepared 15th January 2019