Anne has primary progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which has impacted her speech, and makes it difficult for her to communicate verbally.

Anne met Clarissa, a POhWER Advocate, when she was in hospital. Following discharge from hospital, Anne returned to her home but this was unsuccessful and she was placed in a care home on a short term care placement, which was meant to last for up to six weeks, to assess her needs and keep her safe.

Anne asked for Clarissa to visit her at the care home. While she was there Clarissa became aware that Anne had been there for several months now and staff considered her a permanent resident.

The home was primarily for older people with dementia, this did not appear to be a suitable long term option for Anne who is in her early 50s. Anne was isolated in her room and the home had no specialist knowledge of MS or the therapy services which might benefit her.

Clarissa asked Anne about her stay at the care home and it was apparent that Anne wanted to return home if possible and try another care package or move somewhere more suitable. Due to her physical condition, she could not leave the home independently.

Anne wanted to know what was happening and felt as if she had been abandoned. There had been no information given to her as to her future or any suggestion that she could either return home, or that a more suitable placement was being looked for.

Clarissa checked and found that Anne was not detained under a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) authorisation and had not had a capacity assessment.

Clarissa asked if Anne wanted her to raise any concerns with the local authority or the Care Home Manager, she agreed to Clarissa raising her concerns to the Care Home Manager.

Clarissa spoke to the Care Home Manager and found that they had received very little information or contact from the local authority and Anne had no allocated social worker. The short term placement had just carried on and Anne had not been reassessed since being placed in the care home.

Clarissa explained the options that were available to Anne. Anne agreed for Clarissa to make a safeguarding referral to the local authority on the grounds of unlawful deprivation of liberty as she was not free to leave but under no formal framework.

Following discussions with her line manager, Clarissa made the referral through the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub following the local authority’s policy for reporting.

Clarissa was contacted by the local authority’s DoLS team. They were not aware of Anne and they quickly followed this up with the community social work team for assessments to be made as to her current needs and care planning.

As a result, a social worker has now been allocated to support Anne and the care assessments are ongoing to find a suitable long term placement in a specialist unit that can meet Anne’s health needs as well as be better for her wellbeing.