In a short but pithy exchange on 22 March 2016, the Care Minister, Alastair Burt, indicated that he would look at any situation from Ann Coffey MP (who indicated that DOLS assessments were costing Stockport Council £1.2m/year) that might ease the situation “practically” as regards DOLS pending any amendments to the law following the Law Commission’s current projects.

A further exchange is of note:

Mr David Nuttall (Bury North) (Con)

Will the Minister confirm that when the new legislation   is   finally   introduced,   it   will     be simpler to  understand  and  result  in   fewer bereaved relatives facing distressing   delays when a loved one dies in care?

Alistair Burt 

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. What has caused the confusion has been a definition of loss of liberty and dying in state detention that bears no relation to anyone’s common-sense understanding of the situation. Whatever new legislation is proposed by the Law Commission, it must meet the test of being much simpler, but it must also meet the legislative test of meaning what it says so that it does not get disrupted in the courts again.

The Law Commission should be publishing an interim report in mid-May. We will bring you the details as soon as Alex is allowed to share them.