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Government to Abolish Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Inquests Duty Coroners Will no longer be required to hold an inquest for anyone who dies while subject to the Deprivation of liberty safeguards (Dols), following an amendment to the law. The amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill will mean that a person who dies while subject to a DoLS order will no longer be considered to have died in state detention. In doing so it will remove an automatic requirement for coroners to hold an inquest. Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are designed to keep people safe, but they have long been a bone of contention with the care home sector and families owing to the unintended consequence meaning if someone is subject to a Dols their death must be investigated. This means that older people with dementia, whose deaths are expected, are frequently subjected to investigations after death. Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England says: “Baroness Finlay’s amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill is extremely welcome. Care homes need to be a place of safety, but our members have reported uniformed police officers attending care homes under their legal duties to investigate a death of a resident making it a crime

scene even when the death was expected. This is extremely upsetting for families, care home staff and fellow residents. Investigations into deaths under DoLs take needless time which prevents families from being able to mourn and proceed with funeral arrangements. This does not allow for the calm and dignified death that most people and their families want”. Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Chair of National Capacity Forum, spoke at Care England’s conference, her amendment, supported by the Government, amends the meaning of state detention in Section 48 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. The Law Commission is due to report on DoLS early next month and it will be interesting to see whether they make further comment on this process. Baroness Finlay of Llandaff says: “I am delighted that the Government have accepted this change, initially proposed by Ann Coffey MP, which should come into force early next year. It will save a great deal of distress to the bereaved. Last year alone there were over six and a half thousand unnecessary inquests. When someone subject to DoLS dies of natural causes and the death was expected, an inquest will no longer be required. But of course if there are any unusual circumstances, then the coroner must be informed.”

Activties Co-Ordinator Crowned Winner At The National Care Awards Belong Warrington activities Co-ordinator, lisa Mclaughlin, has been named ‘activity Coordinator of the year’ at the prestigious national Care awards, receiving her trophy from Boyzone singer Keith Duffy at a gala night at the Hilton london Metropole Hotel. The award celebrates a person working within a care home service who has made an exceptional contribution to the quality of life, health and happiness of the people they support through the activities they provide. Commenting on Lisa’s impact on the village, competition judges said that “Lisa’s ability to create a whole team approach to deliver personalised activity provision is exceptional, and her inter-generational approach to dementia awareness as a cham-

pion, demonstrated through her local school links, set her apart in a strong field.” Lisa is known within the Belong care village for being a true ‘people person,’ with an enthusiasm for providing a diverse and inclusive programme of events and activities tailored to the needs and interests of individual people. She is also active in the wider community, working with local schools and scout groups, training almost 450 Dementia Friends to improve awareness and understanding of living with dementia. Belong Warrington General Manager, Janine Curwell said: “I am delighted that Lisa’s hard work has been recognised by being named ‘Activity Co-ordinator of the year’ by industry expert judges. She is sensitive and aware of people’s needs and moods, and resourceful in adapting her activities and strategies to cater for these.”


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The Carer #35 Winter 2017  

Issue #35 of The Carer - The leading independent publication for nursing and residential care homes. Published Winter (January) 2017.

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