Standard Authorisation during COVID-19

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What does it Mean to be Subject to a Standard Authorisation?

An individual may be placed on a standard authorisation, following a mental capacity assessment being carried out by the care team at the hospital or care home setting.

Under the defined circumstances, the care team are to apply for an individual to be subjected to a standard authorisation if the individual is deemed to lack capacity to make decisions in relation to where they reside and the care and treatment that they receive by the team of carers who are responsible for looking after them.

This effectively results in the individual being monitored and under constant supervision by their care team 24 hours a day. This means that their movement will be restricted and they will be unable to leave the setting they are in without supervision. In addition, they are unable to make complex decisions but may be able to make simpler choices, for instance the clothes that they wear or the meal that they wish to eat.

It is usually by virtue of a best interest decision, involving the care team and family members, that a decision to move an individual into a care home is made. The individual themselves may not have been involved in the decision resulting in their admission into a care home setting and the individual may not wish to reside in a care home setting. Thus may object to both the placement and the restrictions under the standard authorisation in place.

The objection could be very clear in that the individual may repeatedly and consistently state that they wish to leave the placement they are in and may actively attempt to leave the premises. Alternatively, the objection may be more subtle in that the individual may not wish to accept personal care interventions, take their medication or eat the meals that they are provided with, in protest. When the individual who is subjected to the standard authorisation is objecting to the arrangements in place under the standard authorisation, then they have the right to appeal via what is called a s.21A appeal to the court of protection.

Should a family member object to the individual being placed in a particular setting or the arrangements that are in place for example, contact arrangements they are also able to appeal the standard authorisation via a s.16 application to the court of protection. Please see our separate blogs for further information on this route of appeal.

What does it Mean to be Subject to a Standard Authorisation during COVID-19?

We are currently facing unprecedented circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strict restrictions have been implemented to protect the most vulnerable individuals in our society, the key being the elderly residents within care homes. As a result, families and professionals are unable to visit individuals in care homes at the present time.

This however, does not mean that the judicial system has halted in investigating cases where an individual may be objecting to their placement during the current pandemic. It is therefore very much business as usual within the Court of Protection department at Thaliwal and Veja Solicitors and the judiciary. If an individual is objecting to the restrictions in place under a standard authorisation during COVID-19, their right to appeal still remains.

Get in touch to learn more.