Norma has dementia. She was placed in a care home after her Social Worker assessed her to lack capacity to decide where she should live, and her Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) was authorised. 

Norma was referred for advocacy support to POhWER’s Relevant Person's Paid Representative (RPPR) service as she was unhappy at the care home and objected to being placed there. Hannah, a POhWER advocate, met with Norma and explained her role and remit as Norma’s RPPR. 

Norma said she did not want to stay at the care home and wanted to go back to live in her flat. She asked Hannah to support her to challenge her Deprivation of Liberty in the Court of Protection. Hannah helped appoint a solicitor for Norma who visited her at the home to discuss her views and wishes.

Norma told Hannah that she was a practicing Jehovah’s Witness and part of why she wanted to return to her flat was so she could attend her local Kingdom Hall. Part of being an RPPR is protecting people’s Human Rights including their Article 9 right to practice religion, so Hannah raised the issue with staff at the home. 

Hannah also asked Norma what she needed in order to practice her religion and if she wanted a New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (a bible translation used by Jehovah's Witnesses). Norma said she did not need a bible, as she knew it well, but she did want to attend Kingdom Hall meetings on Sundays. Hannah raised this with staff and Norma’s social worker during the Best Interest Meetings related to her DoLS challenge. Norma’s social worker said he would discuss with staff at the home how Norma could engage with her religion. 

After much discussion with staff and social workers, the home contacted the local Kingdom Hall and invited people from the local Jehovah’s Witness community to visit Norma at the home. Two members of the Jehovah’s Witness community came to visit Norma regularly and together they said prayers, engaged in bible study and sang hymns. Norma enjoyed these visits but still wished to visit the Kingdom Hall as well.

Norma’s challenge to the DoLS was unsuccessful and the court deemed it in her best interest to remain living at the care home.

To ensure Norma’s Deprivation of Liberty was as ‘least restrictive’ as possible Hannah continued to encourage staff at the home to find ways for Norma to engage with her religion, and plans have now been put in place to support her to attend the local Kingdom Hall with support from a carer once every two weeks and to attend via video call at other times. Norma is very pleased about this and thanked Hannah for her support.

Hannah’s support has helped Norma to uphold her Human Right to freedom of thought, belief and religion (Article 9).