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

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?