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DoLs applications took seven times longer than expected to process during 2020

Standard Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLs) applications in England on average took seven times longer than the statutory timescale to complete during 2020-21, new figures from NHS Digital reveal.

The report for England for 2020-21 found that only one in four standard applications were completed in the statutory 21-day timeframe. The average length of time for all completed applications was 148 days.

For England the figures are as follows:

  • DoLS applications received: 256,610 (estimated). This is a small drop of approximately 3 per cent compared to the previous year, following an average growth rate of 14 per cent each year between 2014-15 and 2019-20.
  • DoLS applications completed: 246,025 (estimated). The number of completed applications has increased over the last five years by an average of 19 per cent each year.
  • DoLS applications not completed: 119,740 (estimated), approximately 10,000 fewer cases (8 per cent) than the end of the previous year, and the second consecutive year of decline since reporting began in 2015-16  
  • DoLS applications not granted: 57 per cent. The main reason was given as change in circumstances, at 60% of all not granted cases.

Residential or nursing homes accounted for 151,765 out of 255,740 (59.3 per cent) of all DoLs applications received during 2020-21.

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