Responding to the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ inquiry on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, Margaret Willcox, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, (ADASS) said: 


“One of the most difficult challenges we face in adult social care for people who lack the capacity to make particular decisions for themselves, is balancing the provision of effective care with ensuring we protect the liberty of the individual concerned.  The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were introduced as an essential safeguard against arbitrary detention for vulnerable individuals aged 18 and over, and any replacement scheme needs to do the same.


“In recent years, the current system has seen a backlog of applications under the Deprivation of Liberty Scheme, which in turn delays the individual’s rights being met. Some of the adults stuck in this backlog may never be assessed to check if their liberty is being deprived and to ensure the safeguards are put in place. The change of name for the proposed scheme is helpful as it shifts the focus to protecting the individual’s liberty, encouraging a more personalised approach to meeting their needs.  

“Unfortunately, the increase in applications following Cheshire West put many councils, which are already operating with significant funding challenges, under considerable pressure. It’s essential that the Government takes the opportunity of the upcoming social care green paper to promote more personalised care whilst also delivering the long-term funding solution that social care so desperately needs.”




  1. Part of adopting a person-centred approach to care is through ensuring accommodation such as supported housing does this. Read more about the Memorandum of Understanding between ADASS, Health Services and the wider supported housing sector