The number of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) applications received by English councils between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015 increased tenfold on the previous year, rising from 13,700 to 137,5400, according to an HSCIC report at the end of 2015.
The Health & Social Care Information Centre’s “Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (England), Annual Report 2014-15” provide the first annual official statistics since the Supreme Court’s March 2014 judgment in P v Cheshire West and Chester Council and P&Q v Surrey County Council, which clarified an “acid test” for what constitutes a deprivation of liberty.
Throwing out previous judgements that had defined deprivation of liberty more restrictively, the Supreme Court ruled that anyone who lacks the capacity to make decisions about their care and residence and, under the responsibility of the state, are subject to continuous supervision and control and lack the option to leave their care setting are deprived of their liberty.
There were 122,775 individuals with an active DoLS application in 2014-15. People can have multiple DoLS applications made on their behalf in a year and 12,005 individuals had at least two DoLS applications in 2014-15
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