Deprivation of Liberty applications jump by seventy-four per cent
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The number of Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) applications in England has already increased by 74% (9,200 applications) in 130 councils compared to the total number of applications in the same councils for the whole of last year (12,400 in 2013/14), according to figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
A DoL refers to a restriction of an individual’s freedom such as physical restraint or constant supervision. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) are a set of legal requirements which ensure individuals are only deprived of their liberty in a necessary and proportionate way and provide protection for individuals once a DoL has been authorised.
Since DoLS were introduced in 2009, applications have increased year on year. However, the main contributing factor to this quarter’s larger increase is likely the Supreme Court judgment ruling in March 20146, expanding applications to include deprivations that are unopposed by the patient. Examples include people who are subject to continuous supervision or people who are not free to leave their care setting.