Paid Relevant Persons Representative

Every Person who is deprived of their liberty under the Mental Capacity Act must have a representative. This could be a family member or a friend but if there is no one suitable, the person will be entitled to support from a Paid Representative also known as a PRPR.

MHM Wales Paid Representatives are qualified advocates who have specialist knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards legislation.  We can support people who lack capacity across South West Wales, West Wales, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil. We may be also able to support clients out of our areas! 

The role of a Paid Representative?

The Paid Representative's role is to:

  • Visit the person deprived of their liberty on a regular basis

  • Support the person to understand their DoLS authorisation and how it affects them

  • Assist the person to exercise their rights should they wish to do so.

  • Ensure any conditions attached to the authorisation are met and dealt with in a timely fashion 

  • Call for a review of the authorisation where necessary, challenge the authorisation through local means where possible or ultimately support the individual to have access to the Court of Protection.

  • Our Paid Representatives are independent from the care home or hospital as well as the Local Authority and Supervisory Body / DoLS team.

The supervisory body must appoint an RPR for every person to whom they give a standard authorisation for deprivation of liberty.

It is important that the representative is appointed at the time the authorisation is given or as soon as possible and practical thereafter. 

Should the IMCA identify any issues which are outside of our remit we will signpost to other relevant services to ensure our client’s needs and wishes are met.

Our RPPRs are independent from the care home or hospital and the Local Authority/ Supervisory Body.

When can a Paid Representative be appointed?

As soon as a request is made by the managing authority, if the relevant person has no appropriate family member or a friend (39A IMCA)


As part of the best interest’s assessment, friends, family members or other representatives of the relevant person must be consulted to see if they agree that the proposed care plan or course of treatment is in the best interests of the relevant person. If there is nobody to represent the relevant person other than a professional or paid carer, the managing authority must notify the supervisory body when it applies for deprivation of liberty authorisation. The supervisory body must then instruct a section 39A IMCA immediately to represent the person.

The IMCA must then be consulted during the best interests assessment and provide support to the relevant person (acting on their behalf, where necessary) during the whole assessment process.


If there is a gap between one paid representative leaving and the appointment of another one (39C IMCA)


A person who is being deprived of their liberty must have someone to represent their interests at all times. This is the role of the relevant person’s representative (RPR), usually a friend or family member, who should be consulted and informed about all matters relating to the care or treatment of their friend or family member while the authorisation lasts.


If the RPR has to give up their position for any reason, and a new RPR is not appointed immediately, the relevant person will be in a vulnerable position. In these situations, an IMCA must be instructed immediately to support the relevant person.


In such circumstances, the managing authority must notify the supervisory body, who must instruct a section 39C IMCA to represent the person, temporarily, until a new friend, family member or professional representative is appointed. 


Once the authorisation has been granted, if the relevant person does not have a paid representative, they or their representative can request an IMCA (39D IMCA)


Both the person who is deprived of liberty under a standard authorisation and their unpaid representative (RPR) have a statutory right of access to an IMCA under section 39D (39D IMCA).

If a relevant person or their unpaid representative requests such advocacy support, the supervisory body must instruct an IMCA

For more information, please contact our advocacy department on

                           01656 649557


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What are the Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards?

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) are in place to protect people who lack capacity to consent to being deprived of their liberty. This means that because an illness, an injury or a disability has affected the way their mind works they are not able to agree that they will not be allowed to do certain things.

Because of these safeguards, vulnerable people cannot have their freedom taken away unless it is in their best interests and there is no ‘less restrictive alternative’. 

The Supervisory Body (the local council where the person normally lives) decides if a person can legally be deprived of their liberty and for how long. To do this they arrange assessments.

What is a Deprivation of Liberty?

When a Managing Authority (either a care home or hospital) has a reasonable belief they may be depriving a person in their care of their liberty, they make an application to the Supervisory Body at the Local Authority responsible for the person’s care for a Standard Authorisation; they may also grant themselves an Urgent Authorisation which allows the Managing Authority to legally deprive the person of their liberty for 7 days whilst assessments take place.  The Supervisory Body will then put a process in place to review this placement to establish:

  • If a Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) is taking place and whether what’s called the ‘Acid Test’ from Cheshire West Supreme Court ruling is metThe ‘Acid Test’ is whether the person is being continually monitored and supervised where they are, living and get no unsupervised access to the community, and whether the person would be free to leave and live where they wanted. If the person is always escorted, whether by staff or family/friends, and they would be stopped from moving to another place, then the Acid Test is met and the person is being deprived of their liberty.

  • If the deprivation is in the best interests of the person

  • If any conditions need to be met to ensure the DoL continues to be in the person’s best interests, and that any restrictions placed upon the person are as few or as restrictive as necessary

  • Restrictions can include not accessing the community, being able to exercise their faith, use of medication or equipment, not pursuing hobbies and pastimes the person would enjoy

  • Who will visit and monitor the person’s placement for the duration of the DoL

If the Supervisory Body then concludes the evidence is met that the person must be deprived of their liberty, the Supervisory Body will authorise the DoL for up to a year.  Each authorisation has to be reviewed towards the end date.

Who does the Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards apply to?

DoLS apply to anyone who is 18 or over and who lacks capacity to consent to being deprived of their liberty. The safeguards cover patients in hospitals and people in care homes but do not apply to patients who are detained under the Mental Health Act.