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School of Law

Experts call for urgent reform of deprivation of liberty safeguards - Dr Ruth Fletcher comments


Dr Ruth Fletcher, Senior Lecturer in Medical Law at Queen Mary University of London, spoke at the Rethinking Deprivation of Liberty in a Health and Social Care Context conference, convened by Queen Mary. The conference brought together experts to discuss Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and how they may be reformed. Dr Fletcher said: “The Supreme Court’s decision is welcome in recognising the liberty rights of those with legal incapacities, but has had very significant consequences for people in care and their carers.”

She added: “More than 138,000 people in hospitals and care homes are now considered to be deprived of their liberty. Where this is the case local authorities must apply for permission to make this deprivation legal. As a result, the authorities are unable to cope with the surge in applications – leaving many older people and people with disabilities in a form of limbo.”

  • Read more about the conference here.



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