Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), Cheshire West and positive risk management
The Law Commission’s report on the Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty was published on 13 March 2017. The Supreme Court judgement referred to commonly as “Cheshire West” had led to a significant increase in applications for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) resulting in significant backlogs, delays in authorisation and, as a result, breaches of agreed timescales for processing applications and reviews. The proposed Liberty Protection Safeguards, put forward by the Law Commission, would put in place consideration of the justification for depriving a person of their liberty before it takes place, unlike under the present DoLS arrangements. The existing DoLS are proposed to be replaced with the Liberty Protection Safeguards, although in its current form, the Bill does not actually refer to them in this way. The government has responded with the Mental Capacity Amendment Bill which is currently making its way through the various stages of parliamentary process.