Deprivation of liberty applications concerning people with learning disabilities in England: trends over time and geographical variation

Chris Hatton (Division of Health Research, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Publication date: 3 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse trends over time and geographical variation in Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) applications for adults with learning disabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

Secondary analysis of national- and local authority-level statistics collected and reported by NHS Digital.

Findings

There has been a sharp national increase in the number of completed and granted DoLS applications regarding adults with learning disabilities since the 2014 “Cheshire West” Supreme Court judgement, with a greater proportion of completed DoLS applications being granted. There is extreme geographical variation across local authorities in England in the rates at which DoLS applications are being made and granted.

Practical implications

The extreme variation in DoLS applications regarding adults with learning disabilities is highly unlikely to be a function of differences in mental capacity and living circumstances experienced by adults with learning disabilities across local authorities, and urgent attention needs to be paid to this variation.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to analyse the geographical variation at local authority level for completed and granted DoLS applications regarding adults with learning disabilities.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The writing of this paper has been supported by Public Health England, as part of the work of the Public Health England Learning Disabilities Observatory. Views expressed in this paper are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Public Health England.

Citation

Hatton, C. (2017), "Deprivation of liberty applications concerning people with learning disabilities in England: trends over time and geographical variation", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 177-183. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLDR-04-2017-0016

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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