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Private Client Section

Care homes’ conflict of interest in deprivation of liberty decisions

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  • Elderly clients hands against wall

Vulnerable adults could be put at risk if care homes are given increased responsibility for decisions about their liberty. 

The Law Society has criticised proposed changes to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which are being considered on 15 October.

Under measures put forward by the government in the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill, care home managers would take responsibility for coordinating the process which determines whether a person should be deprived of their freedom in a residential or nursing home.

Current proposals do not require the cared-for person to be consulted, removing them from the heart of the process. Key safeguards provided under the existing Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards scheme would also be weakened.

As it stands, the Law Society believes that the proposed bill does not have sufficient safeguards and is not fit for purpose in its current form. It requires serious re-consideration and extensive revision.

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