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What is a rule 1.2 representative?

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A rule 1.2 representative is required when a Community Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) order is put in place. If the individual does not have an appropriate close friend or relative who is independent of their care and treatment to act as their rule 1.2 representative, then an independent advocate or paid representative may be required.

DoLS in hospitals and care homes

A DoLS authorisation is required for any individual who lacks capacity to make decisions around their care and treatment, but who is also under continuous supervision and care. This is in order to protect the individual’s Human Rights, while also ensuring that any restrictions are the least restrictive option and made in their best interest.

DoLS in other settings

As it stands today, DoLS only applies when a person is in a hospital or care home setting. If they are living in another setting, such as supported living or their own home, then the case should be taken to the Court of Protection, who can order a ‘Community DoLS’.

In these situations, the person having their liberty deprived must have a representative to speak on their behalf. Under normal DoLS procedure, this person is known as a Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR). In a community setting (i.e. not a hospital or care home), this is known as a ‘rule 1.2 representative’.

Who can be a rule 1.2 representative?

The person assigned as a rule 1.2 representative should not be directly involved with the individual’s day to day care and support. This is to ensure that they can provide independent support to ensure that they are fully listened to, that they feel included, and that they are also fully supported and informed of their rights.

Given the sometimes complex nature of the situation, the role of a 1.2 rep can be provided by an independent advocacy service. A professional advocate will have a much better knowledge of the DoLS process than a general member of the public, and can discuss in detail what DoLS is, how is impacts them on a day-to-day level, and how is effects their associated rights.  

Who manages a Community DoLS?

A standard DoLS authorisation is managed via the Local Authority’s DoLS office. Meanwhile, a Community DoLS application is completed and applied via the Court of Protection.

This system can be quite inefficient, and puts a lot of pressure on the Court of Protection, leading to unnecessary backlogs. As such, DoLS is set to be replaced by a new process known as the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) at some point in the near future.

However, unfortunately, the launch of LPS  has been delayed on several occasions, and the final details are yet to be confirmed. However, we should note that the consultation papers suggest that the 1.2 representative and RPR roles will likely be reformed and combined under the banner of an ‘Independent Mental Capacity Advocate’.

We will share further details as and when they are announced.

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