Day services and DOLS
Day services have a history of being left out of all legislation. I am sure the talk of ‘registering’ them has come and gone for as long as I can remember. Surely now, with the new threshold ruling for DOLS, it must be time to take this more seriously.
Day services all over the country often operate as respite, although we know the funding is the persons and not their family. At times, the families needing the service more than the person. This is not a criticism of day service provision – I am one of the few left, who truly believes the need for building based services for some people who need the support of the ‘group’ to understand the world and build upon skills that underpin self-esteem.
With this in mind, I am more concerned than ever that day services are ‘containing’ clients, who may not have capacity, as much as every week day from 9am to 3pm – in constant supervision, the door locked and an expectation that the person is ‘held’ there until picked up by ‘the bus’ or their family at the end of the day. Surely those who use day services of any kind also are assumed has having the right to liberty and security – Article 5 of the HRA.
I know day services have provided personal care and administered medication without being registered and without the system considering this anomaly but surely the deprivation of liberty that arises now means we must support day services to work within the law.
My advice when training those services, is that they apply to the court of protection regarding DOLS. I am well aware that the courts may ignore these requests – although day services are imputable to the state. If the DOLS teams cannot take on these cases, then the courts must. Perhaps, the easiest thing to do is ‘register’ day services and bring them into the inspection of CQC – to ensure that all manner of care provided is in line with the standards expected.
I am not sure we can continue to ignore day services any longer – There needs to be more accountability across the sector for all people rely on it.