Role of the paid representative and 39C IMCA


The role of the person’s representative is set out in Paragraph 140 of Schedule A1 of the amended MCA, and described in the DoLS Code of Practice (Paragraph 7.2) as:

Frequency of contact

The DoLS Code of Practice does not provide guidance about the frequency of contact expected. The level of contact (including the frequency and duration of visits) will depend on the following factors:

If the paid representative has no concerns about the authorisation and there is no formal process underway it is suggested that they should have contact with the person at least once a month.

When meeting the person the paid representative should do a risk assessment.

Example of paid representative role

A standard authorisation was granted for Tina, a woman with learning disabilities living in a self contained flat based within a larger residential service. Restrictions included 2–1 staffing whenever Tina went out of her flat extending to the possible use of restraint if it was judged to be in her best interests to return home. The use of CCTV was also authorised as an alternative to constantly having to share her space with staff.

Paula was appointed as a paid representative as there was no one who had regular contact with Tina outside of services. The supervisory body specifically sought a woman with experience of working with people with severe learning disabilities. Staff who supported Tina did not think that she would tolerate a new person coming into her life. After studying information about Tina and undertaking a risk assessment, Paula started trying to get to know Tina by staying some distance away from her when she went for walks with staff. Over time this developed into accepting closer proximity including in her flat, maintaining eye contact, and communication using signs.

Paula was able to provide independent monitoring to ensure the restrictions continued to be in Tina’s best interests. She had also demonstrated that Tina was more able to cope with new situations that had been expected. This led to Tina being supported to other activities outside of her flat. Paula was also to make suggestions about how to increase Tina’s opportunity to make some decisions using communications aids. Paula was consulted about and supported the decision to grant a further authorisation when the first one ended.

(Provided by North Wales Advocacy and Advice Association)

Access to records for paid representatives and 39C IMCAs

Supervisory bodies are required to provide paid representatives and 39C IMCAs  with copies of the following information/records:

It is good practice for the supervisory body to provide paid representatives and 39C IMCAs with:

Paid representatives do not have special powers to access other information such as other records held by the managing authority. However, they can request access to any record concerning the person – on a best interests basis. Under the Data Protection Act 1998 records may be shared if the record holder believes the person lacks capacity to make a decision about this, and it is in the person’s best interests to share these with the paid representative.

Similarly 39C IMCAs may request information on a best interests basis. They also have the rights shared by all IMCAs of access to relevant records (MCA, Section 35(6)).

Paid representatives will often want to see records kept by the managing authority. This includes records which may show whether the requirements of the authorisation are being met.

IMCA and paid relevant person’s representative roles in the Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
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