Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

09th November 2016

Should all deaths under DOLS be reported to the coroner?

Please explain if all deaths of someone under DOLS should be reported to the coroner?



Dear Christine,


When someone who is the subject of a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and who lives in a care home passes away, the death must be reported to the Coroner as quickly as possible and the Coroner's office will then inform you how the matter is to be dealt with. This is a formality but it is also a legal requirement.


There are a number of excellent briefing documents  on the internet and the following is taken from the Alzheimer's Society briefing document:


"If a person subject to DoLS dies


If a person with dementia who is subject to an authorised deprivation of liberty dies, there is one final safeguard. This is that their death will be reported to the coroner, as opposed to the GP. This means that the coroner can ensure that the reasons for the person’s death were not due to any abuse, or caused as a result of the deprivation of liberty. It is extremely rare that this would have been the case, but this check still must happen.


This will almost certainly be a very difficult time for the person’s family and friends, and the involvement of the coroner can increase anxiety and upset. The law in this area is currently being reviewed and it is hoped that there will be changes made to make this process less upsetting for families involved."
The full briefing document can be found at here, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.


With best wishes.



*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

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