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 2014 to 31 March 2015. It includes any application that was received and/or completed 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, council or local authority) and satisfy six different assessment criteria.
The Supreme Court's judgment of March 2014 in the case of "Cheshire West" clarified an "acid test" for what constitutes a deprivation of liberty. The acid test states that an individual who lacks the capacity to consent to the arrangements for their care and is subject to continuous supervision and control and is not free to leave their care setting, is deprived of their liberty and should be the subject of a DoLS application (where they are in a care home or hospital setting). The Supreme Court also ruled that the individual's objection to the arrangements that amount to a deprivation of liberty is not a relevant consideration (even if the individual is not objecting, a DoLS application is required).The judgment marked a significant change to established practice.
The data used to generate this report are collated by the HSCIC from a mandatory data collection of all councils, for all DoLS applications that were received, processed or considered to be "active" in any way between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015.
The data tables published alongside the report present further analyses and breakdowns of the data, including breakdowns by council and care provider (i.e. a care home, nursing home, hospital etc.). The full list of data tables are in Appendix A.