Using this Guidance, Keywords and Forms

1. The Context and Limitations of this Guidance

This guidance has been written as part of a wider resource, with the purpose of developing and supporting users to understand and apply the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Practitioners working specifically in the area of Deprivation of Liberty should always refer to the Deprivation of Liberty Code of Practice, current legal advice, available DoLS procedures and local processes to support their practice at all times.

Click here for The Deprivation of Liberty Code of Practice.

Regular newsletters regarding Deprivation of Liberty case law updates can be accessed at the 39 Essex Chambers website.

2. Keywords

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards framework uses specific terminology that is different to the language used in other sections of the Mental Capacity Act. It also makes reference to terminology used in other legislation, such as the Mental Health Act 1983.

Some of the keywords and their meaning are defined in the table below.

Key word Meaning
Best Interests assessment The Best Interest assessment is the mechanism by which the 4 conditions of the Best Interest requirement are tested.
Best Interests Assessor The Best Interests Assessor (BIA) is the name given to the person responsible for carrying out the Best Interests assessment.
Conditional discharge A person can be discharged into the community on the proviso that they will meet certain conditions regarding their treatment/recovery. If the person fails to meet the conditions they can be recalled to hospital.
Deputy A deputy is a person (or sometimes an organisation like a Local Authority) that has been given special powers by the Court of Protection to make one or more specific decisions on behalf of a person who lacks capacity.
Donee of a Lasting Power of Attorney A person who has been appointed to act as a Lasting Power of Attorney or an Enduring Power of Attorney in respect of specific decisions.
Guardianship orders A Guardianship order is granted to someone (normally a Local Authority) to enable patients to receive compulsory care in the community, rather than as an in-patient. Guardians have powers to decide where a person should live and to require they receive specific treatment.
IMCA (Section 37) An advocate appointed to represent a person in regard to specific decisions about non-urgent medical treatment.
IMCA (Section 39A) An advocate appointed during the DoLS assessment process to represent the person when determining whether a deprivation is in their Best Interests.
IMCA (Section 39C) An advocate appointed to represent the person after an authorisation is granted and there is not yet a suitable Relevant Person's Representative appointed.
IMCA (Section 39D) An advocate appointed to support the relevant person or RPR to understand and access their rights following an authorisation.
Leave of absence from detention The responsible clinician can authorise a patient a temporary leave of absence, meaning they can leave the hospital or place where they are being treated for an agreed period, either on an escorted or unescorted basis.
Managing Authority

The registered person at the care home or hospital where the relevant person is receiving care and treatment.

Mental Health Act 1983 The Mental Health Act 1983 (amended in 2007) is a piece of legislation (in England and Wales) regarding the assessment and treatment of people with mental illness in hospitals and the community.
Qualifying requirements 6 requirements that must be assessed following a request for a standard authorisation.
Paid Relevant Person's Representative A person paid to fulfil the role of the Relevant Person's Representative when there is no appropriate person to do so on an unpaid basis. The paid RPR's role is often assumed by an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate or solicitor.
Relevant person The person receiving care and treatment.
Relevant Person's Representative (RPR) A person (usually a family member or friend of the relevant person) that has been legally appointed to oversee the DoLS and request a review at any point should they or the person feel it is no longer required, appropriate or if additional deprivations other than those authorised seem to have been implemented by the placement.
Relevant rights Relevant rights are the right to apply to the Court of Protection under section 21A and the right to request a review of a standard authorisation.
Section 2 Under a section 2 a person is detained in hospital for assessment of their mental health and to receive any emergency treatment they may need. A section 2 is used to detain people who have not been assessed in hospital before or have not been assessed in hospital for a long time.
Section 3 Under a section 3 the person is detained in hospital for treatment following diagnosis of a Psychiatric illness.
Standard authorisation The authorisation of a Deprivation of Liberty by the supervisory body, following assessment of the 6 qualifying requirements.
Supervised community treatment order A community treatment order (CTO) allows a person to leave hospital and be treated safely in the community rather than hospital. The order is monitored by a responsible clinician in the community, such as a community psychiatric nurse and the person can be recalled to hospital if they do not comply with the order.
Supervisory body

The Local Authority responsible for authorising a standard authorisation.

Urgent authorisation The authorisation of a Deprivation of Liberty on an urgent basis by the managing authority, as a short term holding power only to allow a request for a Standard Authorisation to be considered by the Supervisory Body.

3. Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Forms

Click here to access the forms that should be used when:

  1. Requesting authorisation of a Deprivation of Liberty;
  2. Carrying out assessments to determine whether qualifying requirements have been met;
  3. Authorising a Deprivation of Liberty;
  4. Suspending or terminating an authorisation;
  5. Requesting a review of an authorisation; and
  6. Referring for an IMCA.