Following the passing of the Coronavirus Act 2020, further guidance has been emerging from both the Court of Protection and House of Lords regarding changes to practice for DoLS assessments.
Given the enormous amount of work that takes place with vulnerable people in both hospitals and residential settings, the current guidance from the COP is to avoid care home visits. Furthermore the government has commented further on the prospect of remote telephone and video calling assessments for DoLS.
Recent comments addressed DoLS as follows:
I thank those noble Lords, including the noble Lord, Lord Oates, who raised the issue of the deprivation of liberty safeguards. We recognise that we have to strike a careful balance between the need to protect some of the most vulnerable in our society with preventing the spread of the virus. Therefore, we have decided not to alter deprivation of liberty safeguards in primary legislation. However, we think that we can achieve significant improvement to the process through emergency guidance. That will include making clearer when a deprivation of liberty safeguards authorisation is necessary, and the basis on which an assessment can be made, including, for example, phone or video calling for assessment. We are especially grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay, and other experts, who have worked with us on this.In the House of Lords on 24th March, at Second Reading, Lord Bethell.