John died at the beginning of this year. His absence is sorely felt, I’m sure most of all by those close to him and his immediate colleagues, but those of us who encountered him at meetings and conferences on the DoLS miss him too. I miss chatting with him, his insights and wisdom, and have frequently wondered what he would have made of the developments of this year – the House of Lords Committee, the comments of the Health Committee on DoLS, the progress being made by CQC in their monitoring of DoLS and – of course – the Cheshire case, and the case of MH. If you are reading this and you also knew and miss John, you might be pleased to know that a website has been set up to share memories and celebrate his life. His family have kindly said I can link to it here. It is a beautiful and wonderful tribute to a beautiful and wonderful person.
Some readers will have had the privilege to have met, perhaps even worked alongside, John Leighton. John was a DOLS team leader, he also worked with the Social Care Institute of Excellence on matters relating to the Mental Capacity Act and DOLS, and he was a remarkable, thoughtful and wonderful person. He wrote this lovely and refreshingly creative commentary on DoLS judgment, which I recommend anybody with an interest in DoLS take a look at.