Cheng* is a 79 year old gentleman being assessed for a Deprivation of Liberty (DoLS) authorisation, we had previously represented him for a Change of Accomodation (COA) and Serious Medical Treatment (SMT). Therefore, we had a good knowledge of Cheng’s background and medical needs.

Cheng had previously moved to the care home from hospital. After speaking to staff and consulting with the care plans for the 39A visit.

Section 39A Advocates are instructed when there is an assessment in response to a request for a standard authorisation, or a concern about a potentially unauthorised deprivation of liberty.

The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) was told by a member of staff that Cheng had requested the same food at mealtimes as other residents and the soft pureed diet that was recommended for him by the hospital nutrition team.

The member of staff told the IMCA that they had tried him with the food and he was ok so they had now given him the same meals as the others.

How we helped

The IMCA explained that Cheng was at a high risk of aspiration and that he had been put on that specific diet for a reason. Care staff did not understand what the IMCA meant by aspiration and did not understand the consequences, therefore the IMCA explained this to them.

The IMCA had previously met with the hospital consultant who confirmed that Cheng was highly likely to eventually die from aspiration.

The IMCA later raised this with the safeguarding team, who then opened a safeguarding case with the gentleman and are looking to implement a protective plan.

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people we support