Masterclass: Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Tuesday 22 November 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London
The Care Quality Commission recently found that “There continues to be large variation in practice. There needs to be a greater effort to train staff on DoLS and how to use them effectively, as well as maintaining the right procedures and processes. This is critical for ensuring that people receive good quality care and treatment that is in their best interests, and that they are not deprived of their liberty unlawfully. It is important that we make sure that everyone, irrespective of their mental capacity, can experience care that considers their needs and preferences. While there are significant challenges in the system, until reform takes place it is important that the current system is complied with to protect people’s interests, and to avoid compromising the quality of the care they receive.” CQC, State of Care 2015/16, October 2016
The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) scheme is coming under increasing scrutiny.
In its interim statement the Law Commission gave some background to the current position: “The DoLS have been subject to considerable criticism ever since their introduction. In March 2014, two events inflicted significant damage. First, the House of Lords post-legislative scrutiny committee on the Mental Capacity Act published a report which, amongst other matters, concluded that the DoLS were not “fit for purpose” and proposed their replacement…A few days later, a Supreme Court judgment (usually referred to as “Cheshire West”) gave a significantly wider definition of deprivation of liberty than that which had been previously understood to apply in the health and social care context…The judgment laid down an “acid test” for deprivation of liberty: whether a person is subject to continuous supervision and control and is not free to leave. The practical implications of this judgment for local authorities and the state have been significant. For example, there has been a tenfold increase in DoLS applications in England and a 16 fold increase in Wales since the judgment, and it is estimated that only half of these have been processed owing to the resulting pressures on local authorities and local health boards.”
This master class will explore the DoLS as they currently stand and examine the practical implications from restrictions to deprivations and capacity assessments through to seeking authorisations.
It will look at the implications of the case of Cheshire West, the House of Lords Select Committee Report Act and the Law Commission’s proposals for changes to the current DOLs regime to make the application process more streamlined and to include a focus of ECHR Article 5 and 8 rights.
Delegates will have the opportunity to raise issues and concerns specific to their own practice. The course will be run by Kate Hill, a Mental Healthcare Lawyer and will be case study led.
Also of interest