Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity

Guidance for health and social care staff who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity.

Documents

Annex B: deprivation of liberty safeguards form 1B

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Atodiad B: ffurlen trefniadau diogelu wrth amddifadu ryddid 1B (COVID-19) (Welsh)

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Details

This emergency guidance is for health and social care staff in England and Wales who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity during the coronavirus outbreak.

The guidance ensures that decision makers are clear about the steps they need to take during this period. It focuses on new scenarios and potential ‘deprivations of liberty’ created by the outbreak.

During the outbreak, the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and the safeguards provided by the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) still apply.

The MCA provides protection for people who lack or may lack the relevant mental capacity to make decisions about different aspects of their life.

The DoLS are an important part of this act and provide further safeguards for those who need to be deprived of their liberty in order to receive care or treatment in a care home or hospital, but do not have the capacity to consent to those arrangements.

Published 9 April 2020
Last updated 15 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated 2 attachments: 1. 'The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic'. The section ‘Emergency public health powers’ has been changed to ‘Emergency Coronavirus health powers’ to include information about which coronavirus health powers may be relevant for people without relevant mental capacity. The section ‘Supervisory bodies (local authorities in England, and local health boards and local authorities in Wales)’ has been updated to include advice on visiting care homes in relation to the latest local COVID alert level guidance. 2. 'The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance'. The ‘Emergency public health powers’ section has been changed to ‘Emergency Coronavirus health powers’ to include updated information about what affect the new regulations and guidance in England for self-isolation, brought into force on Monday 28 September 2020, have if a person does not have mental capacity to make decisions in relation to these rules. The section ‘Continuing to carry out your role as a DoLS independent mental capacity advocate (IMCA) or relevant person’s representative (RPR)’ has also been updated to include local advice on visiting care homes in relation to the latest local COVID alert level guidance.

  2. Updated attachment: The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’. Sections ‘Summary of key points’ and ‘Supervisory bodies’ include updated information about professional visits to care homes and hospitals. Updated attachment: 'The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance'. Section ‘Best interest decisions’ includes updated information about decisions related to elective surgery and other procedures. Sections ‘Depriving a person of their liberty’ and ‘Supervisory bodies’ include updated information about professional visits to care homes and hospitals.

  3. Added Welsh translations of main guidance document, annex A and annex B.

  4. Added a new section to the attachment 'The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance'. The new section is called 'The right to appeal if someone is subject to emergency health powers and lacks the relevant mental capacity'.

  5. Updates have been made to the main guidance attachment, in particular to the 'Emergency public health powers' section. The format of the attachment has also been changed to ensure it's accessible. 3 new attachments have been added to the page: additional guidance, annex A and an easy read.

  6. First published.