Care Inspectorate Wales and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales have jointly published the 2016-17 monitoring report on for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) across Wales.
The Safeguards apply to people over the age of 18 who can’t consent to treatment or care in a hospital or care home and where restrictions or restraint may deprive them of their liberty.
The Safeguards provide a legal framework for deprivations to prevent breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights as authorisation must be sought before a person can be deprived of their liberty.
The ongoing inconsistencies of applications and authorisations across Wales offer little reassurance that the liberty of vulnerable individuals is being reliably safeguarded across Wales.
A lack of up-to-date national guidance and an inconsistent response by supervisory bodies may be leading to inappropriate or unnecessary applications by managing authorities, or a failure to identify when an application is required.
Number of applications
- The number of applications has risen 9 percent from last year to 13,627, of which 4,819 were to health boards and 8,811 were to local authorities.
- There were 548 applications for every 100,000 adults in Wales.
- Approximately a third of all requests are for an Urgent authorisation.
- More applications are received each month than can be processed, with three decisions being made for every four applications received.
- Just over half of Standard applications and a third of Urgent are authorised.
- Nearly 90 percent of applications that were not granted authorisation were withdrawn before a decision was made.
- Of those applications that were refused, mental capacity was the most commonly cited reason for refusal in both local authorities and health boards.
- The average length of time for an application to receive a decision was 42 days for Urgent and 69 days for Standard applications.
- Over half of authorisations made by local authorities were for a year, whereas the majority made by health boards were for less than six months.
- Fewer than 10 percent of authorised applications ended before their proposed end date, of which the majority were in hospitals.
- The average age for an individual to have had a DoLS application is 79, and almost 60 percent are for females.
- The profile of individuals with a DoLS application largely reflects the population of those receiving support from social services.
Reviews, Representatives, Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCA) and Court of Protection
- 235 (1.6 percent) authorised applications had a review requested.
- Most authorised applications had a family member or relative as a representative.
- 363 authorised applications had at least one IMCA appointed and 69 were referred to the Court of Protection.