Reforming the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards – emerging solutions

The problems with the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) can be resolved only by wholesale replacement of the DoLS and reform of the law. This is the initial conclusion we have issued in an interim statement today, following an extensive, four-month consultation.

The aim of the DoLS was to provide a process for ensuring that people in hospitals or care homes who lack capacity to consent to their care are deprived of their liberty only if it is in their best interests. But the system has been criticised as “deeply flawed” and is placing increasing burdens on local authorities and health and social care practitioners.

In our consultation we asked for feedback on a comprehensive scheme of protective care to replace the DoLS and proposed that the scheme be extended to domestic settings. Today’s interim statement outlines our response to consultees’ feedback and sets out our current thinking.