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Publication, Part of

Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards England, 2019-20

Official statistics

Current Chapter

Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards England, 2019-20


These official statistics provide findings from the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) data collection for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. DoLS are a legal framework that exist to ensure that individuals who lack the mental capacity to consent to the arrangements for their care, where such care may amount to a "deprivation of liberty", have the arrangements independently assessed to ensure they are in the best interests of the individual concerned. The data is collected from local authorities in England, who are the supervisory bodies for authorising deprivations of liberty of adults in care homes and hospitals.

The aim of this publication is to inform users about aspects of DoLS activity, including the profile of people for whom a DoLS application was received, applications completed and their outcome, and applications not completed. The Adult Social Care Analytical Hub, which is an interactive business intelligence tool published alongside the data tables, presents further insight of the data, including breakdowns by local authority.

These statistics have not been materially impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as the data period ended before the pandemic really took hold.

Adult Social Care Analytical Hub

This tool is in Microsoft PowerBI which does not fully support all accessibility needs. If you need further assistance, please contact us for help.

DoLS applications received

There were 263,940 applications for DoLS received during 2019-20, relating to 216,980 people. The number of applications has increased by an average of 13.9% each year since 2014-15.

DoLS applications completed

The number of applications completed in 2019-20 was 243,300. The number of completed applications has also increased each year, by an average of 31.2% each year since 2014-15.

DoLS applications not completed

The reported number of cases that were not completed as at year end was 129,780. This is the first year since reporting began in 2015-16 that the number of cases not completed at year end has fallen, by 1.2%, from 131,350 at the end of 2018-19. 

Reasons for DoLS applications not being granted

The proportion of completed applications in 2019-20 that were not granted was 51.0%. The main reason was given as change in circumstances, at 62.0% of all not granted cases.

Time taken to process DoLS applications

The proportion of standard applications completed within the statutory timeframe of 21 days was 23.6% in 2019-20. The average length of time for all completed applications was 142 days.

Last edited: 7 June 2021 11:08 am