Eleanor Roosevelt, 1958

'Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person... Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.' Eleanor Roosevelt, 1958

The Small Places has moved...

The Small Places has moved to a new home here, including all the old posts. Any posts after 6th March 2014 will appear on the new website, but old posts are preserved here so that URLs linking here continue to work. Please check out the new site.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Remembering John

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.

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. 


  1. Most eloquent and befitting tribute to John, thank you !
    Like you, I sorely miss my conversations with John and perhaps more poignant with the The Supreme Court's hearing on the Cheshire West and P & Q and now the MH's case from the ECHR !

    1. I should have done it sooner, but I kept putting it off. After my trip east this week I was thinking about him again. I really do miss him. I'm glad there are other fantastic colleagues of his still carrying on with his passion and dedication.

  2. Thanks Lucy for remembering John. It was him that put me onto your blog ! so sad that his is being remembered here now.. It is sorely missed as he had so much to offer.

    1. Thanks for your message Carol. He really did have so much to offer, I - and others - are very sad about it.
      Take care, Lucy

  3. I found out about this a few months ago, and was really knocked for six. He was an amazing man, and although I've not spoken to him much over the past few years, remember the times I worked with him with tremendous fondness. He had so much enthusiasm and passion for his work, that that will be hard to match.

  4. A year ago today ..... you are so missed John! Forever in my thoughts, Chris K <3