What is Relevant Person’s Representative Advocacy?
Sometimes it is necessary to deprive someone of their liberty, but this must be done lawfully in the person’s best interests, and must be the least restrictive option for the person to keep them safe. An example of this is a person in a care home with advanced dementia not being free to leave of their own accord, as well as being supervised and monitored by care staff.
The RPR role is to provide representation for someone (the “relevant person”) who is subject to an authorisation of a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). The maximum amount of time a DoLS can last before a review is 12 months. When an authorisation is granted by the Blackpool Council DoLS Team, a best interests assessor will be able, in most cases, to recommend somebody to be the relevant person’s representative (i.e. a family member or friend).
If the best interests assessor is unable to recommend anyone, the Local Authority (also known as the “supervisory body”) must appoint someone to perform this role in a professional capacity for the duration of the authorisation. This is called a paid Relevant Person’s Representative.
Who is it for?
Relevant Person’s Representative Advocacy is available to a person who:
- Is subject to a DoLS authorisation
- Does not have any friends or family to undertake the role
What can an advocate do?
The advocate can:
- Ensure that the conditions listed in the DoLS are being adhered to by the Managing Authority (e.g a care home)
- Meet with the person who is subject to the DoLS to discuss restrictions on their liberty
- Provide additional advocacy roles in the event of other health and social care issues arising, such as an accommodation move or serious medical treatment decisions
- Access the care plans, rick assessments, care notes, medication notes and all other relevant paperwork to the care and treatment for the individual
- Report back to the DoLS Team about any outstanding issues or non-compliance with DoLS conditions
- Raise appropriate safeguarding alerts where this is appropriate and necessary
- Discuss the authorisation with the Best Interests Assessor
The advocate cannot:
- Provide a befriending or mentoring service
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a family member or friend be an RPR
Yes. In fact, this is preferable as someone who knows the Relevant Person is more likely to be aware of care planning needs, as well as past wishes and feelings.
What is the difference between the RPR IMCAs 39A, 39C and 39D?
- Section 39A IMCAs are instructed when a standard authorisation is not in place.
- Section 39C IMCAs are covering gaps in the appointments of relevant person’s representatives. The role ends when another relevant person’s representative is appointed.
- Section 39D IMCAs are only available when a standard authorisation is in place and the person has an unpaid relevant person’s representative.
When does the role of the Paid RPR end?
The role ends when the authorisation comes to an end.