New statistics show the number of applications to legally deprive a person of their liberty, where they lacked the mental capacity to consent to care or treatment, in 2021-22.
The statistics reveal that just one in five standard Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) applications were completed within 21 days in 2021-22, down from 24 per cent in the previous year.
In addition, applications were completed within an average 153 days, five days longer than in the previous year, according to NHS Digital Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards figures for 2021-22.
The report also reveals that there were an estimated 270,650 DoLS applications during 2021-22. This is an increase of 5.5 per cent compared to the previous year. However, the growth rate per year is slowing – between 2014-15 and 2019-20 this was 14 per cent each year, whereas during the most recent five-year period (2016-17 to 2021-22) the growth rate averaged 4.5 per cent.
In England, all deprivations of liberty in a care home or hospital must be independently assessed and authorised by a local authority to ensure they are in the person’s best interests.
Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, 2021-22 – NHS Digital report provides information on applications for DoLS3, including:
How many applications were received and completed by local authorities
• The time taken to process applications
• Reasons for applications not being granted
• Demographic information about people for whom a DoLS application was made
• The planned and actual duration of authorisations granted by local authorities
More detailed analysis of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards data is available at local, regional and national levels on request.
All of NHS Digital’s statistics on adult social care are available via the new Adult Social Care Data Hub, which includes links to the publications, dashboards and information about the data collections.