Relevant Person’s Representative

In Sunderland, we provide the Paid Relevant Person's Representative service.

An advocate will be appointed by the local Authority if the person is subject to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and they do not have any friends or relatives suitable, willing and able to act as the person's representative.

We also provide support for people who are acting as a Relevant Person's Representative for friends or family members. For further information, please download the leaflet at the bottom of the page.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Mental Capacity Act provides additional safeguards for people when a decision is made in their best interests, to place them in a care home or hospital but they lack the mental capacity to consent to this. These are called Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).

The DoLS exist to ensure no-one is deprived of their liberty without good reason but if this is required, then the person has specific rights. One of these rights is access to a Representative, known as the 'Relevant Person's Representative' - a person who will protect their interests during the deprivation of liberty period. Including:

  • Keeping in regular contact with the person.
  • Representing and supporting the person with all matters relations to the Deprivation of Liberty, such as:
    • Ensuring any conditions within the DoLS are adhered to.
    • Requesting a review.
    • Making a complaint on the person's behalf where required.
    • Making an application to the Court of Protection if the person wanted to challenge the deprivation of liberty.

The Relevant Person's Representative will usually be friend or family member, who is in regular contact with the person and is willing to be appointed to this role by the Local Authority.

Some people do not have a friend or family member, suitable, able or willing to act as their RPR. In these situations, the Local Authority are obligated to appoint an independent advocate, known as a Paid Relevant Person's Representative (PRPR). 

What will a Paid Relevant Person's Representative do?

The Paid Relevant Person's Representative is an independent advocate who will support and represent a person who has been deprived of their liberty after the decision has been made that it is in the person's best interests for them to be placed in the care home or hospital.

We will support the person to understand their situation and rights under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. PRPRs will visit the person at least monthly, and ensure that the reasons for the deprivation are still relevant and that any measures that are put in place to support the person who is deprived of their liberty are being carried out.

If the person deprived of their liberty wanted to challenge the deprivation, the PRPR would support the person to do so. This may include supporting the person to take their case to the Court of Protection.

We wil also write regular reports to the Local Authority.

More information about the Paid Relevant Person's Representative role can be found on the Social Care Institute for Excellence Website.

Support for Relevant Person's Representatives (RPRs)