Deprivation of Liberty (DOLS) Letters (August 2019)
Dr John Allingham met with Emily Jones from Kent County Council (KCC) to discuss the letters that will be sent to GPs when Social Services make an application to the court to get a DOLS order for a client.
The standard letter that will be sent to a GP requires a response. If GPs ignore the letters the standard practice will be for a court order to be sought compelling a response.
The letters will ask for a diagnosis and a statement that the patient is not of sound mind. Dr Allingham pointed out that it is not always possible to determine that a patient is not of sound mind because capacity can fluctuate, and GPs are not always able to make a accurate determination in some of our brain injured or learning disabled patients.
The response could be that ‘I am unable to make this determination’.
There is no funding as this is effectively a legal obligation - hopefully this will only be an occasional request.