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‘Deprivation of liberty’ forms cut by a third

The number of forms that must be completed by social workers seeking permission to restrict the freedom of movement of disabled or vulnerable people in their care has been drastically cut.

The number of forms which social workers must complete to apply for so-called ‘deprivation of liberty safeguards’ authorisations has been cut from 32 to just 13, following a government-supported review by representative organisation the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

Following a European Court of Human Rights ruling, the safeguards were added to Mental Capacity Act 2005 to better protect the human rights of people who lack ‘capacity’ – the ability to make decisions about their own welfare or best interests because they have a learning difficulty, have developed dementia, or for similar reasons. The safeguards attempt to ensure that any restrictions placed on the liberty of the person in question do not unduly infringe their rights under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Lorraine Currie was project lead on the review. She said reducing the number of forms required by close to a third had not been “an easy task”, due to the regulations in place.

She concluded:

“We are confident that this revision of the forms will play a small part in speeding up the processing of Dols authorisations without losing necessary quality.”

In November, newly published figures revealed that there had been a sharp jump in the number of applications for deprivation of liberty safeguards in the wake of an influential Supreme Court ruling on the topic, which was seen as lowering the bar for what could constitute an infringement of liberty.

The new forms can be downloaded here.

Photo by Mathew Wilson via Flickr

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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