Can anyone explain what is 'DOLS'.

wazzer

Registered User
Jun 4, 2008
112
North west England.
My mother has been in a Care Home now for the last five years with AZ (now severe). I am her Deputy for Finance but not Welfare. Everything is running smoothly re: payments with council etc, etc. Out of the blue I have just received a telephone call from apparently my mother's social worker (first contact in 4 1/2 years) regarding a new government inititive called 'DOLS'.
Apparently, every resident has to be visited by a Social Worker who is resident in a Care Home (she was quite vague on the reason) and as I trust the members of this forum a lot more than I do any worker from the Council, Works and Pensions or Social Services, can anyone explain what this is and whether I should be concerned?
She did seem quite 'probing' as to whether I was mum's Health and Welfare Deputy.

Kind regards
Ken.
 
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carastro

Registered User
May 7, 2012
115
Just looked it up, I think it stands for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

I guess it's something she is obliged to do following this new initiative.

Carastro
 

garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,585
It is as a result of a Supreme court ruling 'a gilded cage is still a cage'.

It is axiomatic that people with disabilities, both mental and physical, have the same human rights as the rest of the human race.

It may be that those rights have sometimes to be limited or restricted because of their disabilities, but the starting point should be the same as that for everyone else.

This flows inexorably from the universal character of human rights, founded on the inherent dignity of all human beings.

Far from disability entitling the state to deny such people human rights: rather it places upon the state (and upon others) the duty to make reasonable accommodation to cater for the special needs of those with disabilities.

Those rights include the right to physical liberty... This is not a right to do or to go where one pleases. It is a more focussed right, not to be deprived of that physical liberty.

But, as it seems to me, what it means to be deprived of liberty must be the same for everyone, whether or not they have physical or mental disabilities.

If it would be a deprivation of my liberty to be obliged to live in a particular place, subject to constant monitoring and control, only allowed out with close supervision, and unable to move away without permission even if such an opportunity became available, then it must also be a deprivation of the liberty of a disabled person.

The fact that my living arrangements are comfortable, and indeed make my life as enjoyable as it could possibly be, should make no difference.
A gilded cage is still a cage.


The judge ruled that people being held in a place against their will, even if it is in their best interests, however comfortable the environment... still amounted to a deprivation of liberty and councils and care providers now have to ensure that Deprivation Of Liberty Safeguards are in place.

Previously, without a dols in place, they were acting illegally by using restraint (however gentle... distraction could be classed as a restraint) and locked doors to prevent someone from leaving a building or situation.

It will give vulnerable people the protection that others have, rather than care providers making the decision informally, it will have to be a justified and independantly monitored decision.
 

Raggedrobin

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,427
I had to go through a DOLs declaration for my Mum, It isn't as scary as it sounds. I hadn't heard that everyone had to have one, though.:confused: One was done for Mum because she is in an open home and they feared restraining her to stop her 'escaping' without one. This doesn't mean they were doing anything horrid to her, just standing in her way. As has been said here, deprivation of liberty may mean something as simple as distracting a person to stop them doing something that is potentially dangerous to themselves or others.
It does feel weird to sign, because of the name 'deprivation of liberty' sounds like you agree to them being locked up but it really protects the person from causing themselves or others harm.
 

gringo

Registered User
Feb 1, 2012
1,189
UK.
It does feel weird to sign, because of the name 'deprivation of liberty' sounds like you agree to them being locked up but it really protects the person from causing themselves or others harm.
I agree, but you left out the most important word. 'Deprivation Of Liberty Safeguards.
Garnuft's post explains the legal thinking behind their introduction.
I posted this earlier in the month on another thread
"The Mental Capacity Act 2005 Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (MCA DOLS) exist to ensure that no one is deprived of their liberty without good reason. they should be as short as possible and no longer than 12 months, although they can be extended, after proper assessments are carried out. The aim is to prevent people coming to harm.
A relevant person’s representative (RPR) has to be appointed to protect the interests of the person being deprived of their liberty, Usually a family member.
The Dept. of Health pamphlet OPG609 gives the detail in easily understood language."
 

redbaron

Registered User
Aug 13, 2014
22
Please could someone clarify the Deprivation Of Liberty Safeguards process?

My mum recently went through one of these tests in her care home. I was not informed of this test and I am her power of attorney for health and welfare. Is this test initially started through my mother's social worker? and is it possible for someone else to be appointed her RPR without consulting myself (being my mum's power of attorney)?
 

garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,585
As I understand it, you should have been consulted, with or without POA for health and welfare and your Mum should have had a RPR, which, as you have health and welfare POA, should have been chosen by you on her behalf...even if it was you...if you get my drift.

It says in the first link that there are SIX assessments that need to made before a standard authorisation is granted. I feel you should have been informed of all six of these assessments.



http://www.scie.org.uk/publications/ataglance/ataglance43.asp

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/aug/05/councils-struggle-deprivation-liberty-tenfold-rise-mentally-vulnerable-patients

Perhaps these 'struggling' councils are trying to cut corners? I wonder if it will it take another court case to make them adhere to the law.
 

retiredcopper

Registered User
May 17, 2011
187
Yorkshire
Hubby has just had a phone call from the nurse at MIL's care home saying the DOLS psychiatrist has been to assess her. A bit annoyed that
a) we weren't informed beforehand that this was taking place, or even as to who was her RPR which should be hubby
b) that in MIL's case it's a waste of money for an already cash strapped Local Authority to even do this assessment. If they had read her notes they would see that MIL is in the end stage of Alzheimers & life - she is bed bound, mainly asleep & when conscious is unaware of her surroundings, people etc, has to be fed & watered (takes very little now), washed, changed (doubly incontinent) and turned every 2 hours. This has sadly been her condition for several months now - the GP is amazed she is still with us.

I agree that DOLS is necessary but surely common sense should prevail &, after reading a resident's notes a quick visit should suffice in these situations - instead of spending 20 minutes trying to talk to someone who is obviously semi-conscious & can't hear, see & hasn't spoken in 9 months. The care home isn't restricting her liberty - this blooming disease has taken it away from her completely.
 
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notsogooddtr

Registered User
Jul 2, 2011
907
coincidence

Had phone call from a mobile no at 6.50 this evening from a person who said he is Dad's social worker to tell me DOL needs to be done,he suggested coming to my home this evening.No chance.Have told him the only time I can meet him this week is on Wednesday,he's not sure he can make Wednesday and has to submit form by weekend.My first thought was 'tough'as I've wasted half a days leave today meeting Mum's sw who was 2 hours late.Is there likely to be any detriment to my Dad?He is advanced AD,immobile,barely responsive,eating and drinking very little.
 

wazzer

Registered User
Jun 4, 2008
112
North west England.
I must have been one of the lucky one's here who was telephoned and told that a Social Worker was going in to see my mum to assess her for 'DOLS' (see original post on this thread).
The following morning I rang the Care Home Manager who said that yes, it was now a requirement that every Care Home Resident who is 'locked' in a Care Home has to have an assessment for 'DOLS'. She basically put my mind at rest when she said that my mum would easily 'pass' the assessment due to her having severe AZ.
The assessment was carried out a few days later and then a week later the SW rang me to say that due to her severe AZ (which I explained to her in the original call) they agreed that mum has to have her freedom restricted and that they would carry out another test in 12 months time.
What a waste of time and costs. Mum is in a wheelchair, doubly incontinent, no speech etc. Surely they must realise that mums AZ will never improve and they say they have to do another assessment in 12 months time!

Kind regards,
Ken.