Local authority reviewing officers: DoLS example from practice

One local authority has its reviewing officers working very closely with the DoLS team. The reviewing officers refer clients who receive their care in their own homes or in other community settings to the DoLS office if they have concerns about restrictions. The DoLS office then sends out a best interests assessor to establish whether there may be a deprivation, whether it is in the person’s best interests (or whether it could be made less restrictive) and whether an application to the Court of Protection is needed.

Another local authority has introduced procedures to ensure that particular care is taken in planning clear pathways for people with a learning disability at the point of transition to adult services. The restrictions which may be appropriate for a child may no longer be appropriate for a young adult and may amount to a deprivation of liberty unless challenged. Where such restrictions may be thought necessary in the person’s best interests, and the person will be in a care home or hospital setting when they reach the age of 18, they require assessment and authorisation under the Safeguards. If the person is likely to be in supported living accommodation, or living in their own or the family home, deprivation of liberty can only be authorised through an application to the Court of Protection.

Read more: Supervisory bodies: DoLS roles and responsibilities