The number of Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) applications in England has already increased by 74 per cent (9,200 applications) in 130 councils compared to the total number of applications in the same councils for the whole of last year (12,400 in 2013/14), according to new quarterly figures2 from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
86 per cent of all councils (130 out of 152 councils) submitted data for the first quarter (April – June 2014). Of the applications in quarter one 2014-15, as at September 12th, 51 per cent (11,100) were granted, 12 per cent (2,700) not granted and 36 per cent (7,800) not yet completed by the Supervisory Body or withdrawn³. In 2013-14 the total number of applications for these 130 councils was 12,400, of which 58 per cent (7,200) were granted, 40 per cent (4,900) were not granted, and 2 per cent (300) were not completed by the Supervisory Body or were withdrawn as at 31st March 2014.
A DoL refers to a restriction of an individual’s freedom such as physical restraint or constant supervision4. 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 and provide protection for individuals once a DoL has been authorised5.
Since DoLS were introduced in 2009, applications have increased year on year. However, the main contributing factor to this quarter’s larger increase is likely the Supreme Court judgment ruling in March 20146, expanding applications to include deprivations that are unopposed by the patient. Examples include people who are subject to continuous supervision or people who are not free to leave their care setting.
HSCIC Chair Kingsley Manning said: “The increase in applications has shown that councils have been quick to act on the Supreme Court judgment about when it is appropriate to deprive an individual of their liberty. It is hoped that this voluntary quarterly data collection will help to monitor the scale of these types of applications and the impact the increase is having on councils, in a timely manner.”
The key facts relating to this release accessed at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/dols1415q1