Southfield House, a private residential home in Stockport has been charging its residents £250 if they require a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards(DoLS) authorisation. This controversial charge has been roundly criticised by professionals involved in the care of vulnerable adults lacking capacity.
The £250 fee is added to a resident’s bill with a £125 fee also being incurred for each renewal (usually 12 months).
If it becomes apparent that a resident requires the protection from a DoLS authorisation, a care home must make a request to the local authority to start the process which would involve best interest, mental health and mental capacity assessments amongst others.
It is not standard practice that the completion of the request form incurs a charge even in a self-funding private home.
Despite a complaint being lodged with the CQC, the subsequent investigation found the approach adopted by Southfield House has been deemed as lawful and within the charging regulations.
The actions of the home however have been roundly criticised as an abuse of a vulnerable person’s personal finances.