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DOLS- relevant person's representative

(5 Posts)
Melfish Sun 27-Nov-16 10:16:27

DM is in a nursing home and has been there for a year. Nursing home referred her for a DoLs assessment and a social worker/assessor contacted me to see if I would be her Relevant Person's Representative.
I'm her only family in the UK. She doesn't have PoA for health matters. I think I'd be happy to take it on, but was wondering how much work it generates and what has been the experience of others in this role?
Thanks in advance.

Whoateallthecheese Sun 27-Nov-16 12:35:16

This situation has just come up for my husband and he has the same questions, so I hope you don't mind me watching your thread with interest. Sorry I can't help.

norkmonster Sun 27-Nov-16 13:36:22

Being a RPR can involved quite a lot of work - it all depends on the circumstances of (in your case) your mum's placement. I'm assuming if she is currently being DOL's she is now considered to lack the capacity to agree to her residence and / or treatment in the home. If (and, quite possibly, when in my experience) she protests about staying there, or any aspect of her care package, the courts have indicated fairly strongly that it is inappropriate for a family member who has either arranged for or agrees with the placement to be the RPR. Essentially an RPR's function is to act for the patient under the DOLs and, if they are expressing any consistent wish to leave, to bring it to court. Local Authorities use family members because the alternative is a paid for RPR or IMCA. Whilst it should be the case that the best interests assessor should not be suggesting a family member if the patient is expressing any disagreement, IME that's not always the case and they will go for a family member as RPR because it's easier and cheaper.

For what it's worth, I'm not sure I would agree to be an RPR for any member of my family.

I'm not sure this is any use to either of you, but if you have any questions I would suggest that you ask the care home or, even better, the social worker or BIA (best interests assessor).

Melfish Sun 27-Nov-16 20:52:46

Thanks for that Norkmonster. I did read somewhere that if I refused an independent paid for person would have to be appointed, so perhaps that was why the SW was keen for me to take it on. I don't think my mum has made any intentions clear to me about leaving (she is physically unable to do so due to paralysis) and she seems happy at the nursing home.
I did arrange for the care home placement and consider her standard of care to be appropriate so I will ask the assessor whether this may cause a problem in the future.

NewspaperTaxis Mon 28-Nov-16 17:34:16

I have been made RPR for my mother, so a) Am a family member and b) Wanted her to be at her care home placement. Hard to know who else would be informed enough or have any sufficient interest frankly, other than a family member.

As for someone 'independent', well, there is unlikely to be any such person, no one is. They are all in cahoots; the care home, Social Services, the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, local health authority.

So far I've been RPR over a month and have heard nothing, sometimes the issue of DOLS is for simple matters such as should the bed have bed rails? Usually no one will give a damn about your elderly relative unless you try to do right by them, then Social Services will be let loose, usually against the person who seems opposed to the care home.

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