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Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) applications rise for the fourth year

03 September 2014: The number of completed DoL applications have risen for the fourth year running (2), according to new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). During 2013-14 there were 13,000 (3) DoL applications completed by Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs or councils) in England (4), reflecting a ten per cent increase on 2012-13 (11,900).

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures
*Regional data available from this report

A DoL refers to a restriction of an individual's freedom such as physical restraint or constant supervision5. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) are a set of legal requirements which ensure individuals are only deprived of their liberty in a necessary and proportionate way.

An individual can have more than one DoL application made for them during the period this report relates to.

These completed6 applications relate to 9,400 individuals, 73 per cent had only one application made for them during the reporting period. 18 per cent of individuals had two applications made and the remaining nine per cent had three or more applications.

Of the 13,000 DoL applications completed in 2013-14, 59 per cent (7,600 applications) were granted which is the highest percentage since the DoLS legislation7 came into force in 2009.

5,400 applications were not granted in 2013-14 as they failed one or more of the six DoL assessment criteria8.

Older people are more likely to have a DoL application made for them, within the 85 and above age group the rate stood at 212 individuals per 100,000 population9, whereas the rate per 100,000 population for the 18-64 age group stood at seven individuals.

During 2013/14 a total of 8,500 authorisations were active10 and 5,800 ended during the period, of which:

  • 70 per cent of (4,100 authorisations) were in place for three months or less.
  • 22 per cent (1,300 authorisations) were in place for three to six months
  • Eight per cent (500 authorisations) were in place for more than six months.

HSCIC Chair Kingsley Manning said: "Depriving an individual of their liberty is a measure that is undertaken for the safety of the patient. The DoLS legal framework ensures that these individuals are only deprived of their liberty in a necessary and proportionate way.

"It is hoped that this report will provide information which can help stakeholders understand the extent of DoL applications and their use within councils and nationally."

The report can be accessed at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/mentcap1314annual

ENDS


Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 220 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.
  2. The Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (MCA DoLS), which came into force on 1 April 2009, provides a legal framework to prevent the unlawful deprivation of a person's liberty occurring and were introduced into the Mental Capacity Act 2005 through the use of the Mental Health Act 2007. This report relates one of the key these safeguards, the applications for authorisation to deprive someone of their liberty.
  3. Total numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number and rates per 100,000 people to the nearest whole number.
  4. Councils referred to in this report are Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs.)
  5. DoL applications are made by care homes and hospitals to their council in order to get authorisation to provide treatment for individuals when they are unable to give informed consent regarding their care.
  6. An application is completed once it has been granted or not granted. Completed application refers to a request for DoL authorisation which has a completion date within the 2013-14 reporting year. Any DoL applications whether granted or not granted are included in this measure. Over the course of a year the same individual can have multiple DoL applications.
  7. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were introduced as amendments to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and came into force on 1 April 2009. The MCA is a law that protects and supports people who may lack the mental capacity to make certain decisions.
  8. The six criteria that must be assessed and fulfilled for an application to be granted are: Best interest, eligibility, no refusals, mental capacity, mental health and age.
  9. Population rates for 2013/14 have been calculated using the latest available data at the time of data preparation for publication: ONS Mid-2013 population estimates are used to calculate rates by age band.
  10. An active authorisation refers to a granted application for DoLS, where the period of deprivation was active at some point during the 2013-14 reporting year.
  11. As a result of the Zero Based Review of Adult Social Care data collections, from 2013-14 the DoLS return is submitted to the HSCIC at case level on an annual basis.
  12. For media enquiries please contact the press office on 0300 30 33 888 or media@hscic.gov.uk.
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