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Application of deprivation of liberty safeguards varies around the country, says CQC

Commission publishes fourth annual report into use of safeguards

The Care Quality Commission's fourth annual report in to the use of Mental Capacity Act deprivation of liberty safeguards has found:

The CQC also surveyed for the first time local authorities on their monitoring of the MCA. Of 118 of 152 local authorities:

CQC Chief Executive, David Behan, said:

"We expect more focus on reducing the restraint and restriction of vulnerable people lacking capacity.

"We want to ensure people who are unable to consent to treatment because they lack capacity receive high quality care as a fundamental part of health and care services. While there has been an increase in the use of DoLS there is still much more that needs to be done to ensure people are appropriately cared for.

"This year, CQC is strengthening its approach to monitoring this legislation and we will be working more closely with local authorities to support them in their roles as supervisory bodies."

Toby Williamson, Head of Development and Later Life at the Mental Health Foundation, commented:

"DoLS provide important protection for a very vulnerable group of people in care homes and hospitals but as the report rightly emphasises, DoLS need to be understood in the wider context of the Mental Capacity Act (that they are part of) which supports and empowers people to make their own decisions wherever possible as well as providing safeguards when they lack the capacity to do so.

"We particularly welcome David Behan's emphasis on partnerships – collaboration involving as many organisations as possible who work with people affected by DoLS and the Mental Capacity Act is essential in order that these important legal protections can be properly understood and implemented for the benefit of those people they are intended for."

The report can be read here.