This statistical report summarises scrutiny of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, with a focus on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) data, covering the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014. 13,000 DoLS applications were completed during 2013-14 in England; this marks a 10% increase on the previous year. 70% of the completed authorisations were in place for less than 3 months.
Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (England): Annual Report, 2013-14. London: Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), September 3rd 2014.
Increasing DoLS Administrative Burden for Severe Learning Disability or Dementia
When the Supreme Court ruled in March 2014 that disabled people have the same rights to physical liberty as everyone else, this lowered the threshold of deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) under the Mental Capacity Act to cover disabled people living in care homes and hospitals. Increased workloads which resulted from this change mean that deprivation of liberty assessments in care homes and hospitals are often not being carried out within the legal deadlines.
Buchanan, M. (2014). Councils ‘swamped’ by checks on rights of vulnerable. London: BBC Health News, October 1st 2014.
Possibly of interest, a similar situation in Wales:
Price, B. (2014). Councils deluged by checks for freedom of those at risk. Wales: BBC Wales / BBC Health News, November 3rd 2014.