DoLs, IMHAs and CQC


Lots of jargon and initials today. I should apologise in advance but they are certainly new phrases and words that will be becoming ever more familiar.

image Sidelong @ flickr

As, 1 April 2009 sees the implementation of three new nuggets of legislation which will have differing levels of impact on my day to day work.

I have written extensively about the introduction of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLs) introduced as an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. This will, without doubt, be of significant relevance to our team and my personal work – firstly because I am trained now as a Best Interests Assessor meaning that I will be actively involved in the assessments which form a part of the decision-making regarding whether someone without capacity can be lawfully ‘deprived of their liberty’ can be authorised or not. Secondly because I work in a team where we work a lot with capacity or rather, lack of it.

Not really sure where this will go in the longer term but I am almost looking forward to my first opportunity to put into practice some of the information that I studied about. Although the general feeling is that there will not be a flood of assessments, it is something I will, I expect, be in a good position to feed back on this site.

I had almost forgotten about the mandatory provision for IMHAs (Independent Mental Health Advocates) until I read The Shrink’s post on it last week. Subsequently, on Monday, I think, we had a mass email sent around the Trust reminding us of the implementation of the IMHA system with contact details and a reminder of who and when to refer people. I was both surprised and comforted. Surprised because I had not had any information about this service prior to Monday and comforted because obviously although we were completely oblivious to it, some work was being done somewhere to prepare people for this!

And finally RIP CSCI (Commission for Social Care Inspection), Healthcare Commission and MHAC (Mental Health Act Commission). These three organisations merge into the Care Quality Commission today.

The Guardian print a piece about the merger today. In the article there is a quote from Barbara Young, the CQC chair from last year where she says

the HCC (Healthcare Commission) had taken a “big brain” approach to regulation, using intelligence systems to identify risks in the NHS and target inspections accordingly. The CSCI approach was more about “running the finger around the toilet bowl”. It had thousands of care homes to regulate and fewer statistical tools to identify where problems might lie. So, inevitably, it relied more on regularly visiting establishments.

Young was not trying to characterise social care inspectors as brainless people who spent all their time in toilets, although some of them chose to interpret her that way.

Well, I have news for Barbara Young. CSCI have been undertaking ‘desk inspections’ for a few years now. If only they would actually visit residential and nursing homes regularly as they used to – carrying out regular announced and unannounced inspections – then their may be a better service all round.

If only the CSCI inspectors actually DID have the ‘running the finger around the toilet bowl’ sense of thoroughness and were given the opportunity to spend time in each and every registered residential home in England in order to collate extensive and thorough reports – we would have a lot more faith in the system.

Anyway, I’m getting waylaid and possibly a bit mean-spirited again. Good luck CQC. We REALLY need good regulation and checking systems in place.

3 thoughts on “DoLs, IMHAs and CQC

    • Same here – oh, and your last comment inspired me to sign up to Dave Sheppard’s list as I’d been meaning to for a while and regularly reading the updates.. it seems pretty much like a lot of quiet all round..

      • Glad that you have signed up. I struggle with some of the finer points of Schedules and Regulations but its all good stuff.

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