What is a Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR)?
Everyone who has a DoLs authorisation must have a relevant person’s representative (RPR). It is the role of the RPR to make sure that any conditions of the DoLs are being met and to inform the person of their rights and how to exercise those rights. This is an important role in ensuring the person deprived of their liberty is safeguarded. An RPR can be a family member or a friend.
There are certain rules guiding who can be an RPR. To be eligible you must be:
- 18 years of age or over
- able to keep in contact with the relevant person
- willing to be appointed.
You must not be:
- ﬁnancially interested in the hospital or care home where the relevant person is being deprived of their liberty, or be a relative of a person who has a ﬁnancial interest
- employed by, or providing services to, the care home in which the relevant person is residing or employed by the hospital in which the relevant person is residing in a role that is, or could be, related to their treatment or care
- employed to work in the relevant person’s supervisory body in a role that is, or could be, related to the relevant person’s case.
The role of the RPR
RPRs must have regular, face-to-face contact with the person being deprived of their liberty, to ensure that their interests are being safeguarded. This means that the hospital or care home where the person is staying (the managing authority) should allow you to visit them at reasonable times. As the RPR, your name should be recorded in the person’s health and social care records. If you have insufﬁcient contact with the relevant person for whatever reason, they may not have full opportunities to have their case reviewed or to appeal against their deprivation of liberty to the Court of Protection.
As an RPR, you have a legal duty to comply with the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice.
Managing authorities and supervisory bodies (local authorities or NHS bodies) should keep you informed about sources of support and information available to help you in your role, including how to access the support of an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA).
As soon as possible after a standard deprivation of liberty authorisation is given, the managing authority must make sure that both you and the relevant person understand:
- the effect of the authorisation
- the formal and informal complaints procedures that are available to both of you
- your right to request a review
- your right to make an application to the Court of Protection to seek variation or termination of the authorisation
- your right, where the relevant person does not have a paid ‘professional’ representative, to request the support of an IMCA.
The role of an RPR ends when relevant person’s authorisation comes to an end.
A person who is being deprived of their liberty will be in a particularly vulnerable position during any delays in the appointment of an RPR since there will be nobody to represent their interests or to apply for a review on their behalf. In cases where no friend or family member is willing or eligible, a paid representative will be appointed. The managing authority must notify the supervisory body, who must instruct an IMCA (paid RPR) to represent the person until a new representative is appointed. The role of an IMCA instructed in these circumstances is essentially the same as that of an RPR. The IMCA’s appointment ends when the new RPR is appointed.
Cloverleaf provide paid RPR support in the following areas:
Why might an IMCA also be involved?
A person who is deprived of liberty under a standard authorisation - and their unpaid RPR - have a statutory right of access to an IMCA if they wish to challenge the authorisation. It is the responsibility of the supervisory body to instruct an IMCA if requested by the individual or their RPR.
The IMCA can provide extra support to get the best possible use of the review process and the Court of Protection if needed. They can help you to understand:
- why the person meets the criteria for authorisation
- how long the authorisation will last
- any conditions to which the authorisation is subject.
Cloverleaf provide this service in the following areas:
- East Riding of Yorkshire
- North Lincolnshire
- North East Lincolnshire
- North Yorkshire