Adult Services Cabinet Member – Minutes – 12 March 2009
28 (14) MENTAL CAPACITY ACT (MCA) DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY SAFEGUARDS – The Service Director Adult Social Care submitted a report seeking approval to identify an individual to lead the work required to manage and review the full delivery of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (MCA DOLS).
The MCA 2005 provided a statutory framework for acting and making decisions on behalf of individuals who lacked the mental capacity to do so for themselves. It introduced a number of laws to protect those individuals and ensures they were provided with the support required to make decisions for themselves wherever possible. The Act came into force on 1 October 2007. In North Lincolnshire a Local Implementation Network (LIN) was set up to steer the introduction of the MCA across all organisations, voluntary and statutory bodies and reports to the local Safeguarding Adults Board.
The Government had added new provisions to the MCA in the form of DOLS. These safeguards focused on protecting the interests of some of the most vulnerable people in society, who for their own best interests, may need to be accommodated for care and treatment, which may result in depriving the individual of their liberty, and where the individual lacked capacity to consent. The decision to deprive someone of their liberty was an extremely serious matter and the DOLS were there to ensure this decision was not taken without following defined processes and in consultation with specific authorities.
The Department of Health has announced that the MCA DOLS will commence on 1 April 2009.
Locally, it had been agreed that the work of the LIN should be extended to include the implementation of the MCA DOLS in line with other authorities within our region. There were major challenges to engaging all the partners required for successful implementation of the safeguards to providing local leadership and finding the capacity within current staffing resources to meet the council’s statutory duties under the MCA by the implementation date of April 2009. To progress the implementation of the Deprivation of Liberties safeguarding more immediately a proposal from the LIN was to identify someone as quickly as possible to project lead the work required whilst also developing the longer term structures to manage and review the full delivery of the MCA requirements on an ongoing basis within Adult Social Services.
Resolved – (a) That the option two, as set out in the report, be approved in order to expedite the work required, and (b) that the council’s statutory duties and pressures to implement the designated deadline be noted.
29 (15) PROGRESS REPORT ON THE INTRODUCTION OF THE CARERS EMERGENCY CARD 2009 – The Service Director Adult Social Care submitted a report advising the Cabinet Member on progress to introduce a Carers Emergency Card.
There were approximately 16,000 carers in North Lincolnshire, however very few accessed the advice, help and support that were available. Carers in the community often sought help once they reached a crisis situation and that was when contact was made with Adult Social Services.
During the Carers’ Needs Assessment, carers completed an emergency plan. This enabled carers to include contact details in case of illness or an emergency so that provision was made for the person who they were caring for.
As part of North Lincolnshire Council’s prevention agenda, carers’ support was considered to be a high priority. The aim was to help and assist carers before any situation had reached crisis point. In addition, in a New Deal for Carers, the Government announced funding of £25 million per year for home based emergency respite care for the whole of England and Wales. In October 2007, North Lincolnshire Council were given £72,000 of which Adult Social Services received £57,000.
Work had been ongoing over the last twelve months to develop a Carers’ Emergency Card. Consultation with potential providers of the card had been undertaken, and the most appropriate and effective organisation that could provide this service is the council’s CCTV Service. It was able to offer a 24-hour response service at the lowest cost.
Between now and April 2009, the CCTV Service was establishing a database which would hold information on carers and those cared for, along with three emergency contact numbers. A Carer Card would be produced and given to the carer. In addition, the emergency plan would be recorded on the SAP (Single Assessment Process) system which would enable the NHS to access the information so that, for example, if a carer was admitted to the Accident and Emergency Department, action could be taken to contact next of kin and ensure that the cared for person received appropriate care.
Resolved – (a) That the implementation of the Carers’ Emergency Card be welcomed, and (b) that the card be launched with the appropriate publicity.