Annie is 75 and has a diagnosed learning disability, she was placed in a residential care home under a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards order (DoLS) three years ago when her carer died.  The placement wasn't going very well for Annie. She was very active and wanted to be occupied with things like going on walks and visiting local day centres, but because of the restrictions on her liberty, she could not leave the care home alone. The care home was also concerned that they could not meet Annie's needs, as they had no spare capacity to provide the type of support needed. Annie could not interact with the other residents, which caused her frustration, and her behaviour was deteriorating.

Any person deprived of liberty under a DoLS order is entitled to a Relevant Person's Representative (RPR), usually a family member or close friend. If none are present, the local authority will appoint a paid RPR. Annie had no close family member or friend to represent her, so an n-compass RPR was appointed.  The advocate, who knew Annie from a previous visit to the care home, observed that she was unkempt, her clothes were stained, and she appeared unhappy. Annie disclosed that she was bored and begged the advocate to take her out.

Following the visit, the advocate contacted Annie's Social Worker and advised that Annie's appearance had deteriorated recently and was communicating in many ways (verbal and non-verbal) that she was unhappy in the care home.  The Social Worker identified an alternative home that could offer more activity, which was communicated to Annie. Initially, Annie had been against moving; she had formed relationships with some of the staff at the care home. In order to help Annie decide, the advocate arranged a visit to show Annie the home and then, on a second occasion, to have lunch there.  This allowed Annie to meet the new staff, meet some residents, taste the food, experience the activities, and see what her bedroom would look like. 

The advocate supported Annie in asking important questions, for example, whether she could redecorate her room because she didn't like the colour. They also made sure that Annie was present at the Best Interests Meetings to ask questions and have her views heard. It was important that Annie was fully involved in the process. As a result, the panel were convinced that Annie knew what she wanted and agreed to the move. Annie was able to get a date for the move during the meeting.