Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) have jointly published their annual monitoring report on the use of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) in Wales.
The Safeguards apply to people over the age of 18 who can’t consent to treatment or care in a hospital or care home and where restrictions or restraint may deprive them of their liberty.
The Safeguards provide a legal framework for deprivations to prevent breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights as authorisation must be sought before a person can be deprived of their liberty.
The House of Lords published a scrutiny report of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The report concluded that DoLS were “not fit for purpose” and recommended they be replaced. The Law Commission produced a draft report in March 2017 recommending DoLS be repealed and setting out new ‘Liberty Protection Safeguards.
The report finds that the ongoing inconsistencies of applications and authorisations across Wales offer little reassurance that the liberty of vulnerable individuals is being reliably safeguarded across Wales.
A lack of up-to-date national guidance and an inconsistent response by supervisory bodies may be leading to inappropriate or unnecessary applications by managing authorities, or a failure to identify when an application is required.
The full report is available on the CIW website.