In response to the publication of the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman report ‘The Right to Decide: Towards a greater understanding of mental capacity and deprivation of liberty’, Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, the older people’s charity said:

“It is the mark of a civilised society that we always look to take decisions in the best interests of those who, due to a lack of mental capacity, can’t make these decisions for themselves. Unfortunately, the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) system is not currently fit for purpose and is failing some of the most vulnerable people it is designed to protect. It is extremely concerning to hear some of the complaints, including people being left in care homes where potentially they were deprived of their freedom without the proper authorisation – not just for days, but for years. In fact, with more than two thirds of complaints to the Ombudsman about mental capacity or Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards now getting upheld the Government needs to urgently sort out what has become a mess. It must take forward the draft Bill published by the Law Commission. This set out sensible clear recommendations to ensure the system works more effectively for older people, who must never be wrongly deprived of their freedom”.

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