Service specification for paid representatives
Below are suggestions for what could be included in a service specification for paid representatives. This may be helpful for the appointment of a single representative or contracting an organisation to supply the paid representative service as required.
The suggestions are not limited to the minimum statutory requirements of the paid representative role. They include what may be good practice for this developing role.
Sections marked in [square brackets] may vary according to local factors.
The service will commence from [1 April 2011] and will be of [five] years duration. Subject to satisfactory performance it may be extended by agreement of both parties for a further period of [two] years.
Purpose of the service Open
The purpose is to provide a paid relevant person’s representative service for people deprived of their liberty subject to standard authorisations under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Appointment of paid representatives Open
The organisation (providing the paid representative service) will be available to provide paid representatives to all service users who may be eligible. This includes people with learning disabilities, dementia, mental health needs and acquired brain injury.
When contacted by a representative of the supervisory body to provide this service for an individual, the organisation will provide the name of the person to be appointed no later than the end of the next working day.
The supervisory body will send form 3 to the organisation. The paid representative to be appointed will sign part F of this form and return this to the supervisory body. At this point the relevant person’s representative role will begin.
The organisation will, where possible, identify paid representatives who have attributes identified by the supervisory body which could benefit the person. For example, gender, ethnicity, spoken or sign language skills.
The organisation will ensure that the paid representative is:
- Aged 18 or over
- Able to keep in contact with the relevant person
- Willing to be the relevant person’s representative
- Not financially interested in the relevant person’s managing authority
- Not a relative (see notes at end of form) of a person who is financially interested in the managing authority
- Not employed by, or providing services to, the relevant person’s managing authority (where the relevant person’s managing authority is a care home)
- Not employed to work in the relevant person’s managing authority in a role that is, or could be, related to the relevant person’s case (where the relevant person’s managing authority is a hospital); and
- Not employed to work in the supervisory body that is appointing the representative in a role that is, or could be, related to the relevant person’s case.
If the organisation is commissioned by the managing authority to provide advocacy services the organisation must alert the supervisory body of this potential conflict of interests before the paid representative is confirmed.
For the avoidance of doubt the paid representative may also undertake independent advocacy roles with the relevant person. For example, to be instructed to act as an IMCA for a serious medical treatment decision provided the paid representative meets the IMCA training and qualification requirements.
Paid representatives must be employed by, or contracted to work for the organisation. Contracts must specify that if a paid representative leaves the organisation they must withdraw from all paid representative roles. The organisation must alert the supervisory body where this is the case so they can give notice of the end of the appointment before a new representative is appointed.
The training, qualification and supervision of paid representatives Open
The organisation will ensure the following:
- Before undertaking the paid representative role, all paid representatives have undertaken training on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
- Paid representatives must undertake at least eight hours of continued professional development each year relevant to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
- The paid representative is supervised a minimum of once every [four] weeks by a supervisor who had a good understanding of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Functions of the paid representative Open
Paid representative must in all cases:
- Undertake a risk assessment before meeting the person
- Meet the person unless the risk is unacceptable
- Provide all possible support to help the person understand their rights to review and access to the Court of Protection
- Check whether the requirements of the authorisation are being met
- Request relevant records on a best interests basis if the person lacks capacity to decide on access
- Consider whether they need to exercise their rights to review or access to the Court of Protection
- Participate in any care reviews which take place, preferably by attending in person.
- Represent the person in any assessments which are undertaken as part of a review or request for a further authorisation
- Represent the person in any adult safeguarding proceedings
- Represent the person in any accommodation decisions which need to be made immediately after the person is no longer subject to a standard authorisation
Level of contact Open
Paid representatives must determine the level of direct contact with the person and other time required to perform their role. A higher level of contact is likely to be required at the start of the appointment, where there is a review, application for a further authorisation, or application to the Court of Protection.
Paid representatives will minimally have visual contact with the person whilst visiting the relevant care home or hospital once every [four] weeks.
Access to the Court of Protection Open
If the paid representative is considering using their right to access the Court of Protection, they will put their reasons for doing so in writing to the supervisory body, and give the supervisory body an opportunity to respond before making an application.
This does not however prevent the paid representative making urgent applications to the Court of Protection if this is felt necessary. In such cases the paid representative will provide the supervisory body a copy of the application when it is submitted.
Reporting requirements Open
This is made up of two elements. Reporting to the supervisory body in relation to individual cases and  monthly monitoring information for the commissioning team.
Reporting to the supervisory body for individual cases Open
The paid representative / organisation will provide the following to the supervisory body
- A copy of reports which must be prepared by the paid representative if the best interests assessment is undertaken as part of a review or application for a further authorisation.
- A copy of a risk assessment if the organisation has assessed that it is not safe for the paid representative to meet the person.
- Advance information about any planned absences of the paid representative greater than one week (e.g. holiday) and what cover will be provided. In some case the supervisory body may wish to change the appointment.
- Information about any unplanned absence lasting over a week (e.g. sickness) and what cover is being provided.
- Notice if a paid representative is due to leave the organisation before the end of any current authorisations.
- Notice if a paid representative has been suspended from their duties or dismissed.
Monitoring information for the commissioning team Open
The organisation will provide on a  monthly basis
For each relevant person who was provided the paid representative service during this period
- Names of paid representatives during this period together with dates they were appointed and, if applicable, when the role ended
- How many times the right to access a review or court of protection was used
- Number of care reviews attended (excluding any reviews of the authorisation)
- Number of care reviews which took place which were not attended by the paid representative
- Hours spent undertaking the role separating out time spent travelling
- Any key outcomes achieved for the person.
For each paid representative active during this period
- Details of relevant training and qualifications. This could include completion of the DoLS advocacy course or the complete diploma in independent advocacy if an advocacy service has been commissioned
- Details of continued professional development during the period including number of hours
- Whether the minimum requirement of supervision every [four] weeks was met
- Details of any absences while in role for a period greater than two weeks (e.g. holiday or sickness) together with information about the cover which was provided