Strictly Come Dancing: ‘we’re half way there!’ (And a bit about DoLS and hospices)

Posted on: January 29th, 2015 by Jess Flanagan

So we have now had 4 lessons (well 3, as we missed one to do some research by watching the real thing at the Strictly Tour in Birmingham!) and pretty much learnt both dances.

We think we have chosen our music for both numbers and this weekend we find out which dance style we will be performing as our main dance. Only if we get through to the final will we perform both.

We are, I think, pretty easy about whether we are allocated the Samba or the American Smooth. Possibly because we have chosen to dance the Samba to Uptown Funk, which is a bit different for a Samba, but an amazing song we both love. Watch this space….

And let me remind you why we are doing this: St Peter’s Hospice in Bristol is an incredible charity. It offers care, support and from what I can see, love and friendship to people with life limiting illnesses and their loved ones in and around Bristol.


Without the money it raises through sponsorship and donations it couldn’t achieve what it does.

I’ve been reading quite a bit about care in hospices recently in light of the impact Cheshire West has had on those who may be assessed as being deprived of their liberty at end of life in a hospice. There is a real conflict between not forcing a bureaucratic process on families and those in pain and wanting a peaceful death, and ensuring that Lady Hale’s purpose in changing the definition as she did is upheld to safeguard those who need it most. The Department of Health, amongst other things to reduce the application of DolS in hospices, has tried to suggest that people at end of life who might be unconscious or in so much pain don’t actually have a mental disorder and as such don’t meet the (Winte criteria for being lawfully deprived of one’s Liberty (must be of unsound mind). I’m afraid I don’t buy this and something much better than that will have to be thought of. The guidance will result in less people in hospice’s being assessed under the DoLS framework, which for some is the right thing, but what about those who really could do with Lady Hale’s’ safeguards? They fall through yet another gap…..

I’m hoping to get to speak to someone at St Peter’s about their experiences, but have had the pleasure of being contacted by a doctor in a hospice elsewhere in the country to share her experiences where The assessment really didn’t help. She is going to come and speak at our next Clarke Willmott Mental Capacity Act seminar on Medical issues in April… Watch this space.

But as I work through these ideas, for the next 5 weeks I must remember to keeeeeeep dancing!

If you’d like to help St Peter’s raise lots of money to keep them doing what they do, please sponsor us to keep us dancing!!!

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