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Quick reference guide to identifying a deprivation of liberty in the home setting

30 September 2019

We suggest that the following features may constitute liberty-restricting measures in the home environment:

  • the prescription and administration of medication to control the individual’s behaviour, including on a PRN basis
  • the provision of physical support with the majority of aspects of daily living, especially where that support is provided according to a timetable set not by the individual but by others
  • the use of real-time monitoring within the home environment (for instance by use of CCTV or other assistive technology)
  • the regular use of restraint by family members or professional carers which should always be recorded in the individual’s care plan
  • the door being locked, and where the individual does not have the key (or the number to a key pad) and is unable to come and go as they please, strongly suggests that they are not free to leave
  • the individual regularly being locked in their room (or in an area of the house) or otherwise prevented from moving freely about the house
  • use of medication to sedate or manage behaviour, including PRN

Questions for front-line staff

These questions may help establish whether an individual is deprived of their liberty in this context:

  • is the person prescribed or administered medication to control their behaviour, including on a PRN basis?
  • what level of support is provided with aspects of daily living? And is that support provided to a timetable set by the individual or by others?
  • is technology used to monitor the individual’s location within the home or to monitor when they leave?
  • does the individual’s care plan provide for the regular use of restraint? If so, under what circumstances and for how long?
  • is the door to the individual’s home locked? If so, do they have the key (or the code to a key pad)?
  • are they free to come and go from their own home unaccompanied as they please?
  • are they regularly locked in their room (or an area of their home) or otherwise prevented from moving freely about their home?
  • are restrictions placed upon them by professionals as to who they can and cannot see?