Schedule to be inserted as Schedule AA1 to the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Part of Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 15th January 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care) 10:45 am, 15th January 2019

The hon. Lady makes a strong point, but that underlines the issues we have with DoLS at the moment: despite a backlog of 125,000 and a cost ticket of £2 billion, the system is not working. That is why we need to change it.

I will talk briefly about the ADASS—Association of Directors of Adult Social Services—tool. ADASS worked carefully to develop it in response to increased numbers of cases, which were overwhelming some local authorities. That included recognising issues such as clear objections that are raised and providing help with prioritising important cases, but it still leaves that 125,000 backlog, and that is unacceptable. There are various other issues about how we will resource it, but we will discuss those nearer the time.

In conclusion, AMCPs can consider any relevant case —for example, a particularly restrictive practice that is being used, or people with mental disorders. In this case, an AMCP can complete the pre-authorisation review. We will set out the detail, the case studies and clear guidance when we have the statutory code of practice. Every authorisation must be reviewed by somebody who does not deliver the day-to-day care or treatment, and the pre-authorisation reviewer must be satisfied that the authorisation is valid before approving it.

AMCPs should have the opportunity in certain cases to allow a targeted approach that will deliver a more efficient system and to allow people the better protections they need more quickly. I appreciate 100% the hon. Lady’s concerns about the conflict of interest in independent hospitals. We will discuss that at greater length, but she knows I share her concerns about how individuals in those settings can best be protected.