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Carmarthenshire named as slowest for DoLS assessments

Carmarthenshire performed worst out of 20 Welsh local authorities in terms of allocating standard DoLS applications for assessment during 2022-23, a new report shows.

Out of 20 local authorities returning data, nine admitted it had taken over six months to deal with some applications. In Carmarthenshire 35 per cent (78/224) of standard DoLS applications took over six months to allocate. The statutory timeframe is 21 days from referral.

Only one authority – Merthyr Tydfil – had no referrals older than one month.

In the report, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) and Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) state that delays in DoLS assessments mean that people could be unlawfully deprived of their liberty. The regulators state: “The length of time to assess applications must improve and be completed within the statutory timeframe. Some local authorities and health boards may benefit from reviewing their current procedures.”

Other key findings from the report:

  • There was an 18 per cent increase in the number DoLS applications assessed by the local authorities compared to the previous year.
  • The number of DoLS applications assessed by health boards increased by 32 per cent in 2022-23, compared to figures seen in 2021-22.


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