Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [HL]

Written evidence submitted by Marc Robertson (MCAB50)

I write as a Social Worker of 22+ years.

I have been undertaking assessments under the mental health act since 2002 and since 2014 have also been a Best Interests Assessor understanding DOLS assessments.

I also write as the son of my father, John Robertson 8.2.1923 who passed away in August 2018 having spent the last 30 months of his life in a nursing home for older adults with dementia, and he himself was liable to 3 separate DOLS authorisations (I was the RPR for all 3).

I have a few brief comments regarding the proposed Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) as part of the consultation for the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill.

1. It should not be down to the care managers on any circumstances to consider whom is appropriate to undertake LPS assessments, it should be the Responsible Body that decides. This is an important safeguard.

2. Renewals should be mandatory every 12 months. Needs and restrictions put in place often change significantly and need to be considered by an independent assessor.

3. To suggest private hospitals can be their own responsible body is increasing the chances of systematic abuse and neglect going unnoticed and cannot be allowed.

4. Conditions have been historically a vital part in improving the day to day care and quality of life of clients detained under DOLS. It places a responsibility on care homes and hospitals to respond to recommendations. There are no proposed 'conditions’ attached to the new LPS, please amend this if nothing else.

5. LPS assessments should only be undertaken by qualified staff.

Thanks for your consideration.

Marc Robertson

Social Worker / Best Interests Assessor / AMHP

January 2019

 

Prepared 16th January 2019