An experienced Best Interests Assessor (BIA) has received a 12-month suspension order after plagiarising DoLS forms. The copying and pasting of information from one service users forms to another’s was determined to be “dishonest” by Social Work England after an investigation. It was decided that his conduct to practice was impaired on both public protection and public interest grounds.

Concerns were raised after identical pieces of information were noted in several of the forms the BIA had completed. It was later discovered that eight service users had identical information contained within their forms, not all of which was relevant to them and “the justification for the ultimate decision was copied in almost its entirety.” As a result, patients were put at risk of being unlawfully deprived of their liberty and exposed to a real risk of harm.

This serves as a reminder to BIA’s to;

  • Avoid using “stock templates”
  • Respect the privacy and dignity of service users
  • Ensure accuracy and detail in the information provided for each Service User
  • Check the information within the form before signing it
For more information

If you have concerns about your own or a family member’s detention in hospital, or about Mental Health Tribunals or Court of Protection welfare proceedings, please contact Rebekah Sambrooks or Kirsty MacMillan.