Since 2009, care homes and hospitals have had to seek authorisation from their Local Authority if they need to deprive an individual who lacks capacity of their liberty as part of their care and/or treatment. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) currently collects data from Councils with Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs or councils) on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) at a case level on an annual basis. This information is then published in the annual report ‘Mental Capacity Act, 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards’.
Supreme Court judgments handed down on 19 March 2014 led to a substantial increase in the number of Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) applications received by councils. As a result of this situation, the Department of Health (DH) introduced a temporary, voluntary data collection which was approved by the DH/ADASS Outcomes and Information Development Board (OIDB) and the HSCIC Programme and Service Delivery Board. This quarterly collection enables stakeholders to monitor the scale of the Supreme Court judgements’ impact on councils in a timely manner, and allows for any increase in the number of DoL applications to be quantified and evidenced.
In order to minimise the burden on councils only three data items are collected by each council on a quarterly basis including a monthly breakdown, at an aggregate level. The fields collected are the number of DoL application requests made, and of these, the number of requests granted and not granted.
Data is collected on a quarterly basis, covering the period April 2014 – September 2015. A comparison to the 2013-14 ‘Mental Capacity Act, 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards’ annual report is also included.