The Government has updated guidance about the MCA and DoLS during the pandemic.
Both the main guidance document and additional guidance document have been updated. Key changes are at:
1. The summary of the main guidance document, in particular but not only: Face-to-face visits by professionals, for example for DoLS assessments, are an important part of the DoLS legal framework. These visits can occur if needed, for example to meet the person’s specific communication needs, in urgent cases or if there are concerns about the person’s human rights.
National restrictions began in England from 5 November 2020. The government has also updated its visiting policy for family and friends of care home residents, which professionals in England should read. Professionals in Wales should comply with any additional setting or location-specific guidance for Wales when considering professional DoLS visits.
2. The supervisory body section of the main guidance document, in particular but not only:
During and after the national restrictions in England, visits by professionals can occur if needed. Decisions around visiting are operational decisions and ultimately for the providers and managers of individual care homes and hospitals to make. DoLS professionals should work closely with hospitals and care homes to decide if visiting in person is appropriate, and how to do this safely. Visiting professionals should understand and respect their local visiting policies, including for individual hospitals and care homes. The government’s policy for family and friends visits to care homes has recently been updated and contains practical advice about how to facilitate safe visits, which will also be useful for DoLS professionals.
3. The section on IMCAs and RPRs in the additional guidance document, in particular, similar points on visiting, including for unpaid RPRs.
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