Safeguarding vulnerable adults’ liberty: the law
Michael Sergeant Mental Capacity Act lead, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
Professionals may struggle with the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and how they affect people’s freedom, but adults with learning disabilities will benefit, argues Michael Sergeant
In response to a landmark legal case, the government has made changes to legislation in an attempt to uphold the rights of vulnerable adults who are subject to extensive restrictions. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards were introduced in April. They apply to people over the age of 18 who lack capacity to consent to arrangements for their care. People with a learning disability in hospitals and care homes will be protected by the safeguards. Healthcare professionals must be aware of, and identify possible situations of, deprivation of liberty to comply with the law.
Learning Disability Practice. 12, 4, 16-20. doi: 10.7748/ldp2009.05.12.4.16.c6995