Lambeth Safeguarding Adults Board has oversight of use of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA), including its Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). The safeguards are used to protect the rights of people who lack the ability to make certain decisions for themselves and make sure that their freedom is not inappropriately restricted.
The increase in applications for DoLS occurred following the Supreme Court’s decision on deprivation of liberty in the Cheshire West case which widened the threshold for what is considered a deprivation of liberty.
Since 2015/16 there has been a steady increase in the number applications sent to Lambeth as Supervisory Body. The Lambeth DoLS Service has therefore remained under high pressure in an attempt to cope with the number of referrals it is receiving. Due to the demand, it is not always possible to meet all the statutory timescales. This has been an issue across London and the government commissioned a review of the law in this area in 2017. Since then, the government has agreed to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards with a new system known as Liberty Protection Safeguards. This new legislation is still being considered by the Houses of Parliament. For more information please visit SCIE's website.