CQC publishes first Deprivation of Liberties Safeguard report

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has this week published its first report on how effectively the Deprivation of Liberties Safeguards have been implemented within the UK care sector, one year after they were first introduced.

The Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards were implemented in April 2009 for all care environments (i.e. hospitals, care homes). The aim of the Safeguards was to protect the most vulnerable people within the UK care system by making care providers and operators seek legal permission before they could deprive a person of their liberty. This would only be approved if the person was found to lack the capacity to consent to treatment or specialist care, and if it was deemed to be in the person’s best interests.

The CQC has now published a report analysing how successful the Safeguards have been in their first year. The report highlights some care homes and hospitals which have demonstrated good practice and progress in using the Safeguards, as well as praising NHS Primary Care Trusts (PCTS) and councils for working well together to implement them.

Whilst acknowledging that last year was a transitional year during which new regulations came into effect, the report also found, however, that too many care homes and hospitals had not ensured staff received the proper deprivation of liberties training.

Unfortunately, CQC inspectors also saw a number of examples of staff restricting or restraining patients without duly considering how this can deprive a person of their liberties.