Tens of thousands of vulnerable people with dementia and learning disabilities are being detained unlawfully in hospitals and care homes across Britain, the Law Commission has said.
Replacing the “administrative and bureaucratic nightmare” system of deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) would speed up checks and allow care workers to concentrate on those most at risk, the legal study recommends.
The report, laid before parliament on Monday, is an attempt to relieve pressure on the overburdened care system, which has been put under strain by the UK’s growing elderly population and a recent human rights court victory.
Individuals who lack sufficient mental capacity are subject to movement controls, usually for their own safety, which prevent them wandering off and getting into danger.
In 2014, a supreme court judgment dramatically expanded the definition of those who should be subject to DoLS checks beyond hospitals to care homes and other types of accommodation.
As a result, while there were 13,700 applications for deprivation of liberty in England in 2013-14 by 2015-16 that figure had risen to 195,840.
Read more in The Guardian.