Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [HL] - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:15 pm on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Barker Baroness Barker Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Voluntary Sector) 9:15 pm, 22nd October 2018

My Lords, I want to make a couple of quick points. The noble Baroness, Lady Murphy, is of course right that the whole issue of DoLS and the community is known to be a problem. However, the examples she gave seem to me to be examples of people not understanding the DoLS legislation and applying it wrongly, rather than the legislation necessarily being wrong. It is always important to make the case for the rights of families to reject undue intrusion, but I want to share with her the case of a young man with whom a learning disability organisation was working. The organisation achieved great results and he did really well. Prior to his involvement with the organisation, he would sit all day in a part of the living room that had been bricked off by his parents, with his own chair, his own television and being fed through a hatch. That was in a domestic setting. I need not tell the noble Baroness that we need to be quite careful when drawing up legislation.

It is a great shame that we have been presented yet again with a piece of legislation that came out of nowhere when we could have had a proper consultation. The people who are out working in the field at the moment having to administer DoLS understand many of the problems. They know that issues that arose partially from the application of the Cheshire West ruling and the High Court judgment have caused a problem. But amending a really bad Bill is not the way to deal with this problem.