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Pushing for Section 3 as opposed to DoLs


New member
Aug 12, 2020
Hi, so a dols needs to be applied for at the court of protection as staff will be depriving you mum of her liberty, to freely leave, lock doors to keep her safe and be under consent supervision, Control medication and may use restraint. as your mum hasn’t got capacity then a best interest decision is made and a dols application is applied for then this will be signed off by a judge and then reviewed every year. Hope this helps


Registered User
Jul 25, 2020
A section 2 is limited to 28 days (normally). According to Mind, a section 3 requires doctors to agree that appropriate treatment is available.


Is it possible that your mother has been put on a DoLs because they are still observing her, and not yet treating her? You had said " There is no diagnosis nor will there be until the delerium passes" - is she still waiting for a diagnosis?


Registered User
Jun 12, 2018
Hi there, With my father we were involved in all sectioning and DOL's decisions, granted we didn't have a physical say in the Sectioning as we pushed for it and were supporting it, but at first, when my dad was initially sectioned it was a Section 2, 28 days for assessment, at the end of the 28 days they decided for my Dad to go onto a DOLS rather than Section 3 (long term treatment) as they believed he would be treatable on the current drugs and could reside at home, he was maintained under a DOLS at the secure hospital for a further 3 weeks before coming home. Around 8 weeks later, Dad was sectioned again and they decided to Section 3 him straight away due to his past history, they also knew that he was no longer safe at home and medications as failing, they had also discussed with us that long term he would likely need a nursing home so Section 3 would be better.

We did have a good team looking after Dad, in a round about way they further explained that whilst needed, a Section 3 would also help in providing us with the 117 aftercare funding. We are grateful to the SW and Consultant that both came to our house to Section Dad again, they were a great help. We also knew as a family that Dad couldn't be at home any longer, as much as we wanted him.

He stayed in the Secure facility again for 6 weeks before moving to a Nursing home, this is then when DOLS was required again.

Subsequently 6 months later, he has had to be Sectioned again and spent 3 weeks in the Secure facility before being moved to another more appropriate Nursing Home for younger people with more challenging dementia, he's been there 4 weeks now and we are awaiting the DOLS paperwork.

During both DOLS's, we have been consulted as part of the process and I am Dad's nominated person, I have to challenge his placement if I believe he is showing signs of not wanting to be there, I can take this all the way to the courts if need be. Thats why i'm surprised you have not been involved in the DOLS assessment, I have POA which maybe why, do you have this also ?

I know there is framework over when a Section 3 (Treatment) versus DOLS is more appropriate, I have seen this for a number of people where it has been clear that their MH issues will not get better but are the leading cause of them being restrained/sectioned. I believe if its more medical issues, then this is sometimes when they tend to push back, even if there is risk involved.

I would perhaps request a meeting and review of the decisions made and the justification for them, although if you dont have POA this would be difficult.

**Edit, ive also just re-read as Dementia hasn't been confirmed, this could be why they are hesitant to go Section 3, we were informed that whilst Section 3 is for treatment, its for those where Treatment is provided, until they recover in relation to their MH illness. Perhaps they may believe the delirium could be temporary/short term and not warranting a Section3, or perhaps until a formal diagnosis of Dementia or similar.

We were also informed, people could be put onto a DOLS, but could be changed to a Section 3 at a later date if needed.
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