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Publication, Part of

Mental Capacity Act (2005) Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, (England) 2016/17, Official Statistics

Official statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
County, Regions, Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs), Local Authorities
Date Range:
01 Apr 2016 to 31 Mar 2017


This official statistics report provides the findings from the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) data collection for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. It includes any application that was active during the reporting year. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (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 (because of restrictions imposed on an individual's freedom of choice or movement) amount to a "deprivation of liberty", have the arrangements independently assessed to ensure they are in the best interests of the individual concerned. A key element of the safeguards is that health and care providers must formally apply to their local Council with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSR, or local authority) and satisfy six different assessment criteria.

The data used to generate this report are collated by the NHS Digital from a mandatory data collection of all local authorities, for all DoLS applications that were received, processed or considered to be "active" in any way between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017.

The data tables and interactive business intelligence tool published alongside the report present further analyses and breakdowns of the data, including breakdowns by local authority.

Please note (13 December 2017): Two specific data quality issues were identified following the release of this publication. These are outlined on page 6 of the revised Data Quality Statement (Annex F).

Please note (13 December 2017): Annex C has been replaced to correct five rows of figures within Table 7 ('Applications completed during 2016/17 per 100,000 adults by age group and age standardised rate'). Due to a misalignment of rows when calculating the standardised rates for the five local authority type (rows 17-21), these values were incorrect. These have now been corrected. All other calculations in Table 7 and Annex C are correct and remain unchanged.

The Adult Social Care Analytical hub tool is in Microsoft PowerBI which does not fully support all accessibility needs. If you need further assistance, please contact us for help.


  • There were 217,235 applications for DoLS received during 2016/17; an increase of 11 per cent on 2015/16.
  • The number of DoLS applications that were completed increased by 45 per cent to 151,970 during the same period.
  • The reported backlog of cases that were not completed as at year end increased by 7 per cent to 108,545 over the year.
  • There is variation in reported activity between CASSRs both regionally and locally.


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Last edited: 25 November 2021 10:41 am