The Supreme Court cases of P v. Cheshire West and Chester
Council and P&Q v. Surrey County Council defined what constitutes a deprivationof liberty.
The court said that a person who lacked capacity to
consent to their care arrangements was deprived of their liberty, under Article5 of the European Convention of Human Rights, if:-
they were under continuous supervision and control;
they were not free to leave, and;
their care arrangements were the responsibility of the state.
The ruling confirmed it was irrelevant whether or not the person consented to their care arrangements.
The figures from the Health & Social Care
Information Centre reveal the impact of the rulings on local authorities.Once an application has been completed there
is a requirement for further regular review thus ensuring that carearrangements continue to be properly safeguarded.
Today’s figures show that the ruling triggered a tenfold rise in Dols applications, from 13,700 in 2013-14 to 137,540 in 2014-15. However, in a further sign that local authorities are struggling to keep up with the rising demand, the number of applications completed by councils only rose five times, from 13,040 in 2013-14 to 62,645 in 2014-15. The lowered threshold introduced by the Supreme Court ruling is also reflected in figures showing that, in the year following the court ruling, 83% of completed Dols applications were granted, up from 59% in 2013-14. Going forward, all of the 83% completed applications in 2014-15 will require review at least annually on top of councils attempting to clear the remaining backlog and deal with new cases.