Leon is a man of African heritage in his 30s. He has had a brain injury and experiences mental health issues. Leon is living in a care home for individuals who have had a brain injury and is under a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS).

Leon is visited regularly by his advocate, Robin, in her role as Relevant Person’s Representative. Leon informed his advocate that he feels he does not have enough freedom to do the things he wants to do and does not want to be escorted everywhere he goes. He said ‘I’ve been accompanied for a long, long time. I’m sick of it’. Leon said he felt it was a ‘big weight on his shoulders’ because he really felt it was ‘time to move on’ from the care home and regain his independence.

Robin explained the DoLS authorisation that is in place and explained the options available to Leon if he is not happy with these arrangements. They discussed potential placement options and Leon said he wanted to move to another property owned by the same care provider in which most residents can come and go as they please. He said that ideally he would like to live in a flat by himself. He was clear that he felt he did not require a DoLS in order to keep him safe and wanted to make a challenge.

Robin agreed to contact the Local Authority to request a review of the DoLS and a review of his care and support plan. Robin was able to support with the Care Review and encourage Leon to be involved in the process as much as possible.

It was agreed that staff would support Leon’s independence as much as possible whilst monitoring his road safety, and cooking and cleaning ability to see if Leon would be able to look after himself if he were to live alone.

Staff loosened some of the restrictions but Leon was still not able to go out alone. Leon did not like this.

Robin discussed with the Social Worker who was reviewing the DoLS whether a trial run of Leon being able to access the community by himself could be attached as a condition of the DoLS if it is to remain in place. This was agreed to and Leon is now supported to access the community by himself regularly, with a curfew that he appears to be meeting. Leon’s road safety awareness has been monitored by his social worker and is said to be good. Leon is now also supported to buy and cook his own food, and is doing most of his own laundry and cleaning. 

As the outcome of the DoLS review was that the DoLS remain in place and Leon is still objecting to the placement, a court challenge was made. Leon is being supported by a solicitor and is awaiting a date from the Court of Protection.

By supporting Leon to gain unaccompanied access to the community and be given the opportunity to regain his independence, Robin has respected and upheld Leon’s right to liberty and security (under article 5 of the Human Rights Act) and right to respect for his private and family life, home and correspondence (under article 8 of the Human Rights Act).