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Latest figures on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in England are published

New statistics show the number of applications to legally deprive a person of their liberty, where they lacked the mental capacity to consent to care or treatment, in 2021-22.

NHS Digital has published the latest information on the use of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), a legal procedure when an adult who lacks mental capacity to consent to their care or treatment is deprived of their liberty1 in a care home or hospital to keep them safe from harm.

In England, all deprivations of liberty in a care home or hospital must be independently assessed and authorised by a local authorityto ensure they are in the person’s best interests.

Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, 2021-22 - NHS Digital report provides information on applications for DoLS3, including:

  • How many applications were received and completed by local authorities
  • The time taken to process applications
  • Reasons for applications not being granted
  • Demographic information about people for whom a DoLS application was made
  • The planned and actual duration of authorisations granted by local authorities

More detailed analysis of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards data is available at local, regional and national levels on request.

All of NHS Digital’s statistics on adult social care are available via the new Adult Social Care Data Hub, which includes links to the publications, dashboards and information about the data collections.

Read the full report

Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, 2021-22

Notes for Editors

  1. A Supreme Court judgment of 19 March 2014 in the case of Cheshire West clarified an “acid test” for what constitutes a “deprivation of liberty”. It states that an individual is deprived of their liberty for the purposes of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights if they:
  • ‚Äčlack the capacity to consent to their care / treatment arrangements
  • are under continuous supervision and control
  • are not free to leave

All three elements must be present for the acid test to be met.

  1. Where the local authorities are councils with adult social services responsibility (CASSRs).
  2. England-level statistics for 2021-22 have been estimated as two local authorities were unable to provide data.
  3. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic period, some of which this publication covers, some aspects of the DoLS process changed due to new Government guidance. This guidance was withdrawn in August 2021. The impact of coronavirus on DoLS has not explicitly been measured, but these changes may be reflected in the data.
  4. The DoLS system will be replaced with a new scheme, Liberty Protection Safeguards in future - timescales for this are not yet fixed.


Channel website: https://digital.nhs.uk

Original article link: https://digital.nhs.uk/news/2022/latest-figures-on-deprivation-of-liberty-safeguards-in-england-are-published

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