Urgent Authorisations

1. Granting an Urgent Authorisation

The responsibility to grant an urgent authorisation

Urgent authorisations can only be granted by the managing authority of the care home or hospital where the relevant person is to being detained for care or treatment.

Granting an urgent authorisation

An urgent authorisation must be granted when:

  1. A request for a standard authorisation is to be made, or has been made; but
  2. The managing authority believes that the need to detain a person (deprive them of their liberty) for care or treatment is so urgent that it needs to begin before a standard authorisation can be granted.

2. What an Urgent Authorisation must include

An urgent authorisation must be in writing, and it must state the following:

  1. The name of the relevant person;
  2. The name of the care home or hospital;
  3. The period during which the authorisation will be in force;
  4. The purpose for which the authorisation has been given.

3. Maximum Authorisation Periods

The managing authority can only authorise an urgent authorisation for a maximum period of 7 days, although it may be for a period shorter than this.

The managing authority can make a request to the supervisory body to extend the urgent authorisation in specific circumstances, set out below.

4. Keeping Records and Providing Copies

The managing authority is required to keep records of all urgent authorisations it grants and why it has done so.

As soon as possible after granting it, the managing authority must provide a copy of the authorisation to:

  1. The relevant person; and
  2. Any section 39A IMCA.

5. Giving Information to the Relevant Person

The managing authority is required to take practicable steps to ensure that the relevant person understands all of the following:

  1. The effect of the urgent authorisation; and
  2. Their right to make an application to the Court under section 21A to review the authorisation.

6. Extending an Urgent Authorisation

The managing authority is not able to extend an urgent authorisation but it is able to make a request to the supervisory body to this effect. The managing authority may:

  1. Make 1 request only to the supervisory body for an urgent authorisation to be extended;
  2. Must keep a written record of why it has requested the extension; and
  3. Notify the relevant person that a request for extension has been made.

The conditions upon which the supervisory body must extend the authorisation are:

  1. That the managing authority has made a standard authorisation request; and
  2. There are exceptional reasons why the supervisory body has not been possible to discharge that request (take all action required following the request); and
  3. It is essential for the existing authorisation to continue whilst the request is discharged.

The maximum period that the supervisory body can extend an urgent authorisation by is 7 days (making a total maximum urgent authorisation period of 14 days).

Upon agreeing an extension:

  1. The supervisory body must give the managing authority notice of the extension agreed; and
  2. The managing authority must vary the original authorisation accordingly.

If the supervisory body does not agree the extension:

  1. It must notify the managing authority that the extension has not been agreed and the reasons for this; and
  2. The managing authority must notify the person and any section 39A IMCA.

The supervisory body is required to keep a written record of:

  1. All requests for extensions made;
  2. The outcome of all requests; and
  3. The period of extension granted.

7. Renewing, Varying and Ending an Urgent Authorisation

Renewing an urgent authorisation

An urgent authorisation can only be granted once so cannot be renewed upon expiry. However, it can be extended by the supervisory body for a maximum of 7 further days in specific circumstances, set out above.

Varying an urgent authorisation

An urgent authorisation can only be varied:

  1. By the supervisory body through a request for an extension; or
  2. Under direction of the Court of Protection at any time.

Ending an urgent authorisation

An urgent authorisation ceases to be in force from the date indicated on the authorisation or earlier than this when:

  1. A standard authorisation is agreed; or
  2. A standard authorisation is not granted because qualifying requirements are not met.

The power of the Court to amend or withdraw an authorised Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard

Under section 21A of the Mental Capacity Act the relevant person and the Relevant Person's Representative have the right to request the Court of Protection review a standard authorisation at any time. The Court of Protection must consider all requests.

The Court also has the power to review any standard or urgent DoLS authorisation at any time that it deems it in the relevant person's Best Interests to do so, regardless of any request to do so having been made or not.

The Court can question:

  1. In the case of standard authorisations, whether the relevant person still meets the qualifying requirements;
  2. In the case of standard authorisations, the conditions upon which the authorisation was given;
  3. In all cases, the period of which the authorisation has been, or will be in force;
  4. In all cases, the purpose for which the authorisation was given; and
  5. In the case or urgent authorisations, whether the urgent authorisation should have been given at all.

Following a review of the authorisation the Court has powers to:

  1. Vary or terminate a standard or urgent authorisation;
  2. Direct (order) the supervisory body to vary or terminate a standard authorisation; or
  3. Direct the managing authority to vary or terminate an urgent authorisation.