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Publication, Part of

Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards England, 2018-19

Official statistics

Current Chapter

Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards England, 2018-19


These official statistics provide findings from the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) data collection for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. 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.

DoLS applications received

There were 240,455 applications for DoLS received during 2018-19, relating to 200,225 people. The number of applications has increased by an average of 15.0% each year since 2014-15.

DoLS applications completed

The number of applications completed in 2018-19 was 216,005. The number of completed applications has also increased each year, by an average of 36.3% each year since 2014-15.  

DoLS applications not completed

The reported number of cases that were not completed as at year end was 131,350. This is higher than in previous years, however the gap between the volume of applications and those completed within each year has narrowed from 54.5% in 2014-15 to 10.2% in 2018-19.

Reasons for DoLS applications not being granted

The proportion of completed applications in 2018-19 that were not granted was 45.9%. The main reason was given as change in circumstances, at 58.1% 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 22.0% in 2018-19. The average length of time for all completed applications was 147 days.

Last edited: 1 June 2021 2:17 pm