Local authorities swamped by deprivation of liberty applications
Caring Times Latest
The Alzheimer’s Society has warned that thousands of people with dementia may be deprived of their liberty by a bureaucratic backlog of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards applications.
In mid-May, the Health and Social Care Information Centre on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) released quarterly figures for January – March 2015, which showed that at the end of September 2014, there were 19,429 applications where the outcome was still not decided. The data shows 119 out of 152 councils (78% of all councils) submitted data for Q4. The total number of DoLS applications in the quarter was 36,000. Of these 8,500 (24%) were granted, 2,900 (8%) not granted and 24,600 (68%) not yet signed off by the supervisory body or were withdrawn.
Alzheimer’s Society head of policy George McNamara said local authorities were being swamped with applications to restrict the liberty of people with dementia in homes and hospitals.
‘We are deeply concerned that a massive backlog of cases may lead to people being unlawfully deprived of their liberty because the paperwork is yet to be completed,” said Mr McNamara.
“Taking away someone’s liberty must always be a last resort. It must be closely monitored, legal and only happen in that person’s best interests.”