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Publication, Part of

Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, 2022-23

Official statistics

Current Chapter

Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, 2022-23


These official statistics provide findings for England from the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) data collection for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023. DoLS are a legal framework applying to individuals who lack the mental capacity to consent to the arrangements for their care. Where such care may amount to a "deprivation of liberty" the arrangements are 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. This page presents the key facts and data tables. Further chapters give more detailed key information about data quality, how the data should be used, how the data was collected and collated (Introduction and Key Points chapter) and background about DoLS (Background Supporting Information). The DoLS dashboard, which is an interactive business intelligence tool published alongside the data tables, presents further insight of the data including breakdowns by local authority.

The England-level statistics for 2022-23 have been estimated as one local authority was not able to submit data.

Adult Social Care Data Hub - DoLS dashboard

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

DoLS applications received

There were an estimated 300,765 applications for DoLS received during 2022-23. This is an increase of 11% compared to the previous year, which is closer to the rate of growth seen before COVID-19 (between 2014-15 and 2019-20 the average growth rate was 14% each year) following an interim period of relatively small increases in numbers of applications.


The proportion of DoLS applications which have an urgent authorisation attached has remained at 56% in 2022-23.

DoLS applications completed

The number of applications completed in 2022-23 was estimated to be 289,150. The number of completed applications has increased over the last five years by an average of 10% each year.

DoLS applications not completed

The reported number of cases that were not completed as at year end was an estimated 126,100, 2% more than the end of the previous year.

DoLS applications not granted

Although the majority of applications are not granted (56%), most of these are due to a change in the person’s circumstances, for example being discharged from a short term stay in hospital following an urgent authorisation, and are therefore unlikely to be processed. Only 3% of all applications not granted were due to not meeting the assessment criteria.

Time taken to process DoLS applications

The proportion of standard applications completed within the statutory timeframe of 21 days was 19% in 2022-23; this has fallen from 20% in the previous year. The average length of time for all completed applications was 156 days, compared to 153 days in the previous year.

Last edited: 24 August 2023 8:44 am