Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Story Thirty Three - Safeguards (1)

I'd never heard of the deprivation of liberty safeguards before April 2010.

One Sunday afternoon, a few days after the professionals' meeting had decided that Steven would never be allowed home, Steven escaped from the Unit. He got out the front gate, onto the main road and met a passing vicar. At some point, he took the vicar's glasses off and threw them into the road. He then darted over to the other side of the road. At this point, the staff noticed he was missing and took him back.

The following day I was contacted by the Unit manager who told me they were applying for an urgent 7 day authorisation and would be stopping all Steven's activities until new risk assessments had been done.

Straight away, the huge DoL juggernaut clunked into motion. Steven was prevented from leaving the home, having to make do with mopping the floor and walking round the garden as his daily activities. It took nearly four months for all the risk assessments to be done and his activities reinstated.

During that week, I was contacted by a best interests assessor and we spoke for about 20 minutes on the phone. I was confused. I was still being led to believe that the fake transition home plan was genuine, so I didn't put up too many objections to the DoL. I didn't relaise that the DoL was being used to achor Steven to the Unit and being used as extra leverage to move him out of the borough.

"Safeguards" sounded good but the actual reality felt awful.

Needless to say, the supervisory body authorised the first DoL for two months and that was the start of our long DoL adventure that carried on until December 21st 2010, when the judge decided that the authorisations had been illegal.

To be continued.......

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