Update on guidance for those caring for adults who lack capacity

An important issue for hospitals and care homes is the recent Government update on care home visiting policy for family and friends in England. This has been followed by updated guidance about the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Protection Safeguards during the pandemic – and the second lockdown. Both the main guidance document and additional guidance document were updated on 11 November 2020.

Key points to note                                     

Main guidance document

  • “Face-to-face visits by professionals, for example for DoLS assessments, are an important part of the DoLS legal framework. These visits can occur if needed, for example to meet the person’s specific communication needs, in urgent cases or if there are concerns about the person’s human rights.”
  • “Under the supervisory bodies heading, it says: “During and after the national restrictions in England, visits by professionals can occur if needed. Decisions around visiting are operational decisions and ultimately for the providers and managers of individual care homes and hospitals to make. DoLS professionals should work closely with hospitals and care homes to decide if visiting in person is appropriate, and how to do this safely. Visiting professionals should understand and respect their local visiting policies, including for individual hospitals and care homes. The government’s policy for family and friends visits to care homes has recently been updated and contains practical advice about how to facilitate safe visits, which will also be useful for DoLS professionals.”

Additional guidance document

This includes an update on assessors, IMCAs and RPR including an unpaid RPR – and includes similar commentary on visiting and assessments as set out above.

Do get in touch if you have questions about this latest tranche of updates.

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