0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

deprivation of liberty


Legislation around deprivation of liberty is complicated and has seen a lot of legal changes in recent years. Getting the most comprehensive advice about what it involves and how it can affect you, therefore, is crucial.

Working across health and social care, and for NHS bodies, local authorities and independent health, we specialise in Court of Protection work that involves the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and deprivation of liberty in a community setting. We are regarded as the country’s leading practice on deprivation of liberty.

Our expertise covers reviewing policies and procedures, dealing with individual cases, and disputes in the Court of Protection. We also handle the potential liabilities and compensation claims that come about as a result of these cases.

What is deprivation of liberty?

When a person lacks the mental capacity to give consent to arrangements about their health, hospital professionals and care home providers have the legal capacity to restrict the individual’s freedom. According to the law, this ‘deprivation of liberty’ means that the person is “under continuous supervision and control”, is “not free to leave” and can’t give their permission to proceed with the treatment or other type of care that is being provided.

However, this can only be carried out under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. For example, someone might be living in a nursing home where doors to different parts of the building are locked, restricting access to potentially hazardous areas such as kitchens, for their own safety. They may still be able to go out with family or members of staff and this deprivation of liberty has been properly sanctioned following the correct procedures.

In this case, liberty has been deprived lawfully. It is when authorisation has not been granted that this could be classed as unlawful, and this is where our services come in. We are recognised as a leading national provider of training on mental capacity and deprivation of liberty and offer a range of services that cover every aspect of this issue.

Why is deprivation of liberty a hot topic?

Deprivation of liberty has fallen under intense scrutiny in recent years and has become one of the most challenging issues for providers and commissioners of health and social care. This follows a Supreme Court judgment in Cheshire West in March 2014, which resulted in a significant shift in the way the law defines a person whose liberty has been deprived.

Having a legal team in place that understands the intricacies of each deprivation of liberty case is essential for a successful resolution.

How can Browne Jacobson help with deprivation of liberty cases?

We manage and limit your liabilities for unlawful deprivation of liberty, and help to ensure that authorisation is obtained, quickly and cost effectively, for care packages in the community through our fixed fee process for Court of Protection applications.

In addition, we offer a full range of services:

  • Expert team
    We have a trained, expert team that can help with reviews of policies and procedures, oversee individual cases and disputes in the Court of Protection, and assist with the potential liabilities and compensation claims that occur from these cases.
  • Training provider
    Our team can provide training in mental capacity and deprivation of liberty, including the statutory Best Interests Assessor refresher training. We also provide case studies and other resources in person and online.
  • Guidance and support
    We have a team of Mental Capacity Act and deprivation of liberty leads based in our offices around the country who offer support through regional forums, along with regular case law update webinars that are free of charge. These webinars are viewed by thousands of health and social care professionals, making them a practical tool for those working in the sector.
  • Strategic advisors
    Our advisors regularly work with the Law Commission on development of their proposals for reform or the law.
  • NHS Resolution panel members
    We work with NHS Resolution and insurers across health and social care on a strategic response to claims for unlawful deprivation of liberty.
  • Fixed fee products
    We offer a fixed fee Mental Capacity Act/deprivation of liberty audit of policies, implementation and training across all health and social care organisations in a geographical area to ensure consistency. We also provide a fixed fee process for Court of Protection applications.

Why choose Browne Jacobson?

We are able to keep up with the fast-moving, complex nature of mental capacity law and deprivation of liberty, working closely with the Law Commission to ensure we have the very latest information about this area. This allows us to look at each case using up-to-the-minute details.

Our dedicated team is on hand to offer specialist advice about deprivation of liberty and the standards that come with this in order to help you achieve the outcome you need. To find out more, contact us at one of our five regional centres and speak to one of our deprivation of liberty experts.

what we do...

  • Our expertise - from review of policies and procedures, to dealing with individual cases / disputes in the Court of Protection, and with the potential liabilities / compensation claims arising.

  • Leading national provider of training - on mental capacity and deprivation of liberty, including the statutory Best Interests Assessor refresher training, as well as providing case studies and other resources in person, and online.

  • Guidance and support - through our regional forums for MCA / DOL leads in our offices around the country and delivery of regular case law update webinars, free of charge, viewed by thousands of health and social care professionals.

  • Strategic advisors - working with the Law Commission on development of their proposals for reform or the law.

  • NHS Resolution panel members - we work with NHS Resolution and insurers across health and social care on a strategic response to claims for unlawful deprivation of liberty.

  • Fixed fee products - we offer a fixed fee MCA / DOL audit of policies, implementation and training across all health and social care organisations in a geographical area to ensure consistency. We also provide a fixed fee process for Court of Protection applications.

focus on...

Legal updates

Systemic failure or medical negligence?

Lord Burnett handed down Judgement at the RCJ on 10 June 2020 of the following case which is the latest in a line of authorities to explore the engagement of Article 2 at Inquests concerning medical care/treatment, reaffirming the point that such cases will not ordinarily trigger the need for an Article 2 inquest.

View

Legal updates

Negligent diagnosis or a reasonable interpretation? Brady v Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Browne Jacobson, instructed by NHS Resolution, recently represented Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Brady v Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

View

Mental health, capacity and deprivation of liberty case law update

We are pleased to invite you to our next webinar which will focus on updates on serious medical treatment cases and deprivation of liberty.

View

Care Quality Commission and health & care regulatory update 7 November

Carl May-Smith provides an update on CQC & Competitions & Markets Authority enforcement.

View

what the directories say...

recent experience

related opinions