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Relevant Person's Representative (RPR)

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When should an RPR make a section 21a application to the Court of Protection?

The role of a Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR) is to be an independent and impartial voice working on behalf of the relevant person under a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) authorisation. They are there to support inclusion, knowledge, rights and promote the person’s voice within the DoLS process, performing a vital safeguarding role to help monitor its application. As part of this role, an RPR should raise a Section 21a challenge to the Court of Protection if the person they are representing voices an objection to DoLS.

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DoLS restrictions and the right to object

In simple terms a deprivation can be described as a restriction, while a deprivation of liberty is a restriction on everyday living. The Mental Capacity Act enacts vital safeguards and protections an individual who can not consent to their care and treatment is is deprived of said liberties. It protects the individual through upholding their rights, monitoring any form of restriction in place and striving to ensure these are proportionate, justifiable and the least restrictive option. In today’s blog, we consider what these restrictions may include, and the importance of keeping the individual’s voice at the heart of any Best Interest decision.

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Should a paid RPR consult with friends and family?

A Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR) is an advocate assigned to a person who is under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). They are assigned by the Supervisory Authority to ensure the individual’s voice is upheld and supported while deprivations are in place. This includes the responsibility to raise a review and then a challenge if the relevant person is objecting to their care, treatment and/or placement.

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Support for RPRs

An RPR is a vital role under the Mental Capacity Act (2005), supporting an individual’s inclusion and rights around their Deprivation of Liberties (DoLS). This role is often filled by an unpaid family-member, friend or partner. However, if a family-member, friend, or partner cannot be identified, the supervisory body is required to refer for independent advocacy to complete this role as a paid (professional) RPR.

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What is a Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR)?

A Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR) is a necessary and essential role under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). It is the role of the RPR to maintain regular contact with the relevant person who has been deprived of liberty, and represent them in all relevant matters. This can include: appealing against a DoLS authorisation, requesting a review, ensuring least restrictive practices are in place or raising a complaint.