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Ombudsman and DoLS

15th November 2022, the Ombudsman found that London Borough of Sutton was at fault for allowing a standard DoLS to expire. The case concerned a man with learning disabilities and autism living in a care home subject to DoLS which was allowed to expire without a new authorisation being completed: ‘There was fault by the Council because between 3 January and 14 April 2022, there was no standard authorisation in place for Mr Y. This means there was no legal basis for his detention for almost three and a half months. The failure to follow the DOLS process and the lack of legal checks means there was no regard to Mr Y’s Article 5 rights during that period.’

The Ombudsman directed Sutton to apologise to the the man’s mother (who made the complaint), make a payment to her for avoidable distress and provide evidence of changes to its procedures to prevent further cases of unlawful detention.

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