Work of the IAP

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Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)

The purpose of the IAP on Deaths in Custody is to bring about a continuing and sustained reduction in the number and rate of deaths in all forms of state custody in England and Wales. This covers deaths, which occur in prisons, in or following police custody, immigration detention, the deaths of residents of approved premises and the deaths of those detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA) in hospital.

The principles and lessons learned as part of this work will also apply to the deaths of those detained under the Mental Capacity Act in hospital.

This follows a Panel meeting with the CQC in 2015 to discuss their role in monitoring the use of the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). CQC have seen a 10% increase in applications in a year and are hoping that there will also be an improvement in the notifications of about deaths. This follows the Supreme Court judgment in P v Cheshire West and Chester Council and P and Q v Surrey County Council. The Panel believes this judgment redefines the concept of ‘detention’ to include individuals subject to the Mental Capacity Act.

The Panel also notes the Chief Coroners’ recent guidance to coroners about the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in which he states that any person subject to DoLS is in state detention for the purposes of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, and the coroner should undertake an investigation into the deaths of such persons. The Panel explored this at their meeting in March and has included influence of data collection in its work programme in 2015/16.




Last updated July 2015


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