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Number of DoLS referrals rise tenfold since Supreme Court ruling

Date:6 JUN 2014
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Local authority adult social care departments surveyed by ADASS say they expect the number of deprivation of liberty (DoLS) referrals from hospital and residential settings to rise from 10,050 in 2013/14 to 93,900 in 2014/15. These figures have been given to the hearing being held by Sir James Mumby, President of the Court of Protection in the in the Royal Courts of Justice.

At the same time the number of DoLS requests from domestic settings where the State has a responsibility, and which end up in court, are likely to rise from 134 in 2013/14 to 18,633 in 2014/15.

According to ADASS:

'Put together, these activities reflect an overall 10-fold increase from 10,184 in 2013/14 to 112,533 in 2014/15, while the councils polled anticipate additional costs of £45.195m for 2014/15.'

David Pearson, ADASS President, said:

'Our first concern is that people who do not have capacity to make important decisions, or who are not free to leave a hospital, residential home or a domestic setting, receive proper consideration of what is in their best interests.
We are also keen to ensure that their needs are met in a timely manner and that any process should not cause any undue delay as well as complying with the law. Clearly the judgement by the Supreme Court has clarified that a far greater member of people require an assessment and this has a significant additional extra cost.'
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