Relevant Person’s Representative

Support when someone is deprived of their liberty

What is a Relevant Person’s Representative (RPR)?

There is legislation to protect people who might be restrained or restricted in a way that amounts to depriving them of their liberty. It is called Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards’ (DoLS). It aims to make sure that people are only deprived of their liberty when it is in their best interests.

When someone is or may be deprived of their liberty, the law calls them the Relevant Person’. 

The law says the Relevant Person must have a Representative’ to help make sure their views, wishes and rights are respected.

Sometimes this role is taken unpaid by the person’s friend or family member. Sometimes the role is taken by a paid professional such as an advocate. A paid RPR may be needed if there are no friends or family members suitable to be an RPR or if there is a gap before a new RPR can take up the role.

What does an RPR do?

During a DoLS authorisation, the RPR will:

  • visit the person regularly to ask their views and wishes and see that they are being cared for well
  • check that the care setting is keeping to any conditions of the authorisation

If necessary, an RPR may request a review of the authorisation or make an application to the Court of Protection to get the authorisation changed or ended.

Even when someone can’t tell their RPR what they want, the RPR will use a range of approaches to establish their views and wishes as far as possible and secure their rights.

Who can request a paid RPR?

To request a paid RPR, you must be from the Supervisory Body. The Supervisory Body is the local authority or local health board that is responsible for appointing an RPR. 

If you are from a Supervisory Body, request a paid RPR by sending your RPR paperwork to helpline@voiceability.org