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DR UK says Staffordshire County Council action on DoLS disgusting

03 April 2019

Council’s decision to stop majority of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) assessments left 3,000 without legal protection, ombudsman finds.

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DR UK deputy CEO Sue Bott said:

“I am disgusted by the action of Staffordshire County Council. The claim by the deputy leader of the Council, Alan White, that it doesn’t matter because ‘no one has suffered an injustice, no one’s health or life has been put at risk’ demonstrates how little the Council cares if citizens in its area are deprived of their liberty. 

“It represents a growing trend amongst local authorities and CCGs in ignoring people’s basic human rights for example the recently introduced policy in Barnet to force people into residential care if their support packages are deemed to be ‘too high’. 

“Financial difficulties are no excuse for ignoring the human rights of people who need support.”

Background

Staffordshire council decided not to carry out assessments of low and medium priority DoLS applications it received from care homes. The council created its own guidance for ranking requests “in response to financial pressures”. The ombudsman found that this denied 3,000 people proper legal access designed to check whether a decision to deprive a person of their liberty is lawful.