This Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) “At a Glance” document summarises the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and their use, particularly in the light of a recent Supreme Court Judgement (March 2014).
The Supreme Court judgment (March 2014) clarified what could constitute a situation whereby someone can have their liberty taken away legally. It refers to the “acid test” for whether a person is being deprived of their liberty, consisting of two questions:
- Is the person subject to continuous supervision and control?
- Is the person free to leave? Note: The focus is not whether the person wants to leave, but on how those providing support would be likely to react if they did want to leave.
This update replaces the previous version of “At a Glance 43: The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards”, which was published in 2011 and updated in January 2015.
At a glance 43: The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. London: Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), May 2015.
It is appropriate to consider a deprivation of liberty application when there are:
- Frequent use of sedation / medication to control behaviour.
- Regular use of restraint to control behaviour.
- Personal objections, verbally or physically, to the restriction and / or restraint.
- Objections from family and / or friends to the restriction or restraint.
- Confinement of a person to a particular part of the care establishment.
- Possible challenges to the restriction and restraint proposed to the Court of Protection or the Ombudsman, or a letter of complaint or a solicitor’s letter.
- An existing deprivation of liberty authorisation which is about to expire.
Further SCIE clarification of the issues:
SCIE media release. Deprivation of liberty: current practice in light of the recent Supreme Court Judgement. London: Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), June 1st 2015.
There are two supporting SCIE videos:
MCA: Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) in light of the Supreme Court judgment: explaining the 2014 changes. London: Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), June 2015.
MCA: Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) in light of the Supreme Court judgment: messages for practice. London: Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), June 2015.