4th December 2015

CQC have published our sixth annual monitoring report on how hospitals and care homes in England are using the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

Part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA), the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards protect the rights of people who are deprived of their liberty so that they can be given necessary care and treatment.

Data from CQC’s more robust and specialist inspection regime shows that there is variation between providers. This means that people are not consistently receiving the protections of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, which help to make sure that they are treated and cared for with dignity and respect, as much as possible in line with their own wishes.

While it recognises that some positive practice is occurring, the report calls for providers to take action to meet the requirements of the MCA including the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, to make sure that they are being used effectively and consistently. This includes making sure that staff receive training on and understand the MCA, that providers have policies and processes in place to support the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, and that processes are being properly implemented so that people are cared for appropriately and their interests are protected.

This year’s report also highlights the tenfold increase in applications from providers to deprive individuals of their liberty. This follows the Supreme Court ruling in March 2014 which expanded the previous understanding of when a deprivation of liberty takes place. Local authorities and organisations such as the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services have taken action in response to this rise, but there is still an increasing backlog. This may delay the external scrutiny needed to make sure that it is appropriate for people to be deprived of their liberty and, consequently, that they receive care which meets their needs.