The report also found that over the last three years there has been a consistent and 'significant' regional variation among care homes and hospitals in the way the safeguards are used. It determined that it was unclear as to whether people's views and experiences of the safeguards were being heard in care homes and hospitals, and also that the implications of the DoLS safeguards in practice were not easy to understand.
"Only recently I represented a woman who was kept against her will in a home for people with advanced dementia," said Mr McGhee. "In that case the safeguards were simply not followed, and as such she was in her own words effectively 'held prisoner' by the local authority. If the people in charge had listened to her, to her family or any of her advocates - as the MCA requires - then her ordeal almost certainly would have been avoided."
The report concludes that the highest priority for health and social care services operating in the safeguards system is 'to improve understanding and practice of the MCA.'
"Whilst I agree with the report's findings that this is a priority, it begs the question as to why it has taken more than three years to identify a lack of understanding within some local authorities," said Mr McGhee. "It would seem from this report that some vulnerable individuals may be subject to human rights violations by professionals who really, three years on, should know better. If so, such a lack of understanding is shocking, morally repugnant and a matter of very serious legal concern which requires an immediate response."Mark McGhee will be discussing the CQC's report on BBC Radio 5 Live Investigates on Sunday, 7 April from 11am. Search: Fentons Personal Injury Solicitors SOURCE Fentons