Government to review DoLS

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

This week the government has ordered a review of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) less than three months after it told peers there was no need to rethink the legislation.

The review comes as a result of the surge in DoLS cases following the Supreme Court ruling in the cases of Cheshire West and P&Q. The ruling lowered the threshold for what constitutes deprivation of liberty in care. In doing so it significantly increased the number of people requiring assessment for protection under the DoLS scheme, which covers placements in care homes and hospitals.

The DoLS legislation, which applies to care homes and hospitals, will now be added to a Law Commission review of frameworks for authorising deprivation of liberty.

The Law Commission project will publish a consultation paper next summer and a final report in 2017.

The Department of Health said: ‘We are committed to making sure that the Mental Capacity Act is used to protect and empower people receiving care and support. We are looking at the potential impact of the Supreme Court judgement on local authorities and will consider findings in the autumn.’

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