Q&A Could I have a say if Mum challenges the DOL that is keeping her in a care home?

Q.       My Mother is a resident in a Care Home in my local area. It has been concluded that she lacks capacity to make her own decisions about her care needs and where she should live, because she has dementia. She is on something called a DOL. For the past three months she has been adamant that she wants to move back to her bungalow, because this is where she lived with my father before he passed away. I keep telling her that she’s in the best place for her, but she’s not listening to me and keeps asking to move back. What can I do?

A:       As your mother lacks the capacity to make decisions around her care and residence the local authority has placed her on a Deprivation of Liberty (DOL) Standard Authorisation. This lawfully keeps her in the Care Home.

Even though you believe that it is in her best interests to remain at her current placement, as she is subject to a “DOL” this gives her the right to challenge the decision and ask a Judge from the Court of Protection to look at all the available options for her. The Judge will consider all the options available and will consider the views that you put forward.

You may wish to become a party to proceedings. This would mean that you would be entitled to see all the documents that are put to the court and would be entitled to attend all court proceedings. The court does encourage active participation from family members if they wish. You could send a statement that sets out your views, which could then be put forward to the court and to the local authority or health board.

If you have any further questions, you should seek advice from a lawyer specialising in Public Authority law as soon as possible.

This question has been answered by Shane Maddocks, Solicitor & Head of Public Authority Law at GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email.

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Shane Maddocks

Shane Maddocks


Solicitor and Head of Public Authority Law.