Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

April 30, 2015   //   No Comments

SAIF has been contacted by a number of members on this matter which has recently come to the fore.

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) are part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They aim to make sure that people in care homes, hospitals and supported living are looked after in a way that does not inappropriately restrict their freedom. The safeguards should ensure that a care home, hospital or supported living arrangement only deprives someone of their liberty in a safe and correct way, and that this is only done when it is in the best interests of the person and there is no other way to look after them.

Please be aware that new guidance has been issued by the Chief Coroner, with regard to patients who lack mental capacity and who are subject to a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard.  The Chief Coroner has taken the view that a person who dies with a DoLS in place, was in “State Detention”, (Coroners and Justice Act 2009) and consequently, their death is subject to the scrutiny of the Coroner.

The difficulty for the funeral director is that, in many cases particularly if the doctor pronouncing life extinct is not the deceased’s GP, the DoLS status may not be known until after the GP is informed of the death.

Alun Tucker, SAIF Executive Chairman