The First reading of the Bill, which sets out to amend the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in relation to procedures in accordance with which a person may be deprived of liberty where the person lacks capacity to consent; and for connected purposes, took place on 3 July. The Second reading - the general debate on all aspects of the Bill - is scheduled for 16 July.
Read the full text of the Bill here
The latest Family Court statistics has revealed that the number of application under the MCA to the Court of Protection are running at record levels. Between January and March 2018, there were 8,089 applications and 10,262 orders made in January to March 2018, up 3% and 15% respectively – the highest quarterly volumes seen since these records began.
Just under half (48%) related to applications for appointment of a property and affairs deputy. In comparison, there were 10,262 orders made under the MCA, up 15% on the same quarter in 2017. A third (33%) of the orders related to the appointment of a deputy for property and affairs.
The Bulletin Editors also note the continued increasing trend in applications and orders made in relation to deprivation of liberty There were 1,213 applications relating to deprivation of liberty made in the most recent quarter, up 25% on the number made in January to March 2017. Similarly, orders made for deprivation of liberty increased by 17% over the same period, from 547 to 639 respectively.
However the rapid growth in the number of LPAs applications received in 2015 and 2016 seems to be abating. In January to March 2018, there were 192,469 LPAs received, up 3% from the equivalent quarter in 2017. EPA applications were also down with 2,540 received, down 25% on the equivalent quarter in 2017.
The full Bulletin can be read on the Gov.uk website - see ages 12 & 13.
The latest Family Court statistics bulletin shows that the Court of Protection’s workload shows no signs of diminishing.
For example, 38,945 orders were made under the MCA last year an increase of nearly 50% on 2016. However, the report authors ascribe some of that increase to a “clearance of outstanding cases during the first quarter of 2017, and volumes have increased generally due to improved recording of orders made by regional courts."
Over a third (40%) of the orders made related to the appointment of a deputy for property and affairs
The number of LPAs received also rose, with 180,210 received in the last quarter of the year up 18% on the equivalent quarter in 2016. Over the entire year, the increase was 28%, though there has been a drop in the two most recent quarters.
There were 2,552 Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) in October to December 2017, down 5% on the same quarter in 2016. Annually, there was also a decrease of 7% in 2017 compared to 2016, continuing the long-term downward trend. The table below illustrates this point.
The full report can be found on the GOV.UK website.
The Government has published it’s final response to the Law Commission’s proposals on the reform of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).
The Commission had been asked to examine the problem in 2015 and, following a public consultation, published its proposals in March 2017. After some delay, the Government has published its final response today, announced in a Written Statement to Parliament by Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Health.
The proposals have been broadly accepted, with the Government favouring the Liberty Protection Safeguards model set out by the Law Commission. However some proposals have been put to one side while the Government pursues a review of mental health law and one, that the Government should consider reviewing mental capacity law relating to all children with a view to statutory codification, has been rejected.
As yet, there is no clear timetable for implementation with the Minister stating that
"we want to ensure that Liberty Protection Safeguards fit with the conditions and future direction of the health and social care sector, so we will continue to work through the detail of the recommendations and engage further with stakeholders particularly on implementation. We will bring forward legislation to implement the model when parliamentary time allows."
The full response, which sets out the Government's stance on each of the proposals, can be downloaded here
The original Law Commission proposals can be found on their site.
The House Commons Human Rights Committee has launched an inquiry into the reform of DoLS. They are looking into delays in implementing the Law Commission made proposals for reform made in March 2017 and note that 4 years on from the Cheshire West judgment nothing has changed.
Announcing the inquiry Harriet Harman, Chair of the Committee, said:
"This could affect your child, your brother or sister, your mother or father. The Committee wants to know -- does the system protect people's rights or is it working against them?"
The Committee is issuing an open call for evidence from interested parties and would welcome written submissions by Friday 2 March on:
You can read how to submit evidence on the Parliament website here
Stay up to date with changes to policy and procedure.
Get the latest cases & news delivered to your inbox with our free email updates.