New report from Age UK on failings in DoLS system 

Age UK has published a new report ‘A hidden crisis: Older people and deprivation of liberty in care homes’ highlighting the need for reform of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) system. DoLS is intended to be a system that provides legal protection for older people who have lost their mental capacity, often due to dementia, and who are believed to need restrictions to their liberty for their own safety. 

Age UK says: 

“Since 2015/16 the estimated number of incomplete DoLS applications has remained at over 100,000, and in 2022/23 126,100 applications went uncompleted. Where applications were completed in 2022/23 it took an average of 156 days for a standard authorization – vastly longer than the statutory timeframe of 21 days.” 

Age UK continue: 

“The problems with DoLS particularly affect older people – 84% of people subject to a DoLS application in 2022/23 were aged 65 years or over. In 2022/23, 49,325 people died while waiting for their DOLS application to be dealt with.” 

You can read the full report (which includes recommendations for reform) here: