Lucy Series, Adam Mercer, Katie Mobbs, Abigail
Walbridge, Phil Fennell and Julie Doughty,
Centre for Health and Social Care Law, Cardiff University
Since the Court of
Protection (CoP) was established by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA), local
authorities have increasingly been involved in welfare proceedings relating to
their community care and safeguarding functions, or their role as supervisory
bodies under the MCA deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS).
reports the findings of a survey of local authorities’ involvement in CoP
welfare proceedings during 2013–14. Local authorities in
England were on
average involved in three welfare cases in that year, and several were involved in
over 10; use of the CoP’s welfare jurisdiction by Welsh local authorities and local
health boards was significantly lower. Almost two-thirds of applications
involved a person who was deprived of their liberty and most were made by local
authorities themselves. Applications from families, advocates and the relevant
person were rare, but more applications were made by the relevant person or
their advocate when they were subject to a DoLS authorisation.
concerns about the low number of DoLS cases. Local authorities’ estimates of
the cost and duration of CoP welfare proceedings reinforce recent concerns
about cost and delay. We discuss the implications of these findings in light of
the recent Supreme Court ruling in
P (By His Litigation Friend the Official Solicitor) v Cheshire West and
Chester Council and Another; P and Q (By Their Litigation Friend the Official
Solicitor) v Surrey County Council
 UKSC 19,  COPLR 313.
The full version of this article appears in issue 1 of 2015 of Elder Law Journal.|
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