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Welsh regulators warn that overdue DoLS risk infringing people’s rights

Welsh regulators have warned that the time taken to process Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) remains poor, infringing people’s rights.

Following a joint review, Healthcare and Care Inspectorates Wales reiterate that assessments for all applications should be undertaken within the stipulated number of days.

The report finds that of the 9,742 DoLS applications received by local authorities in 2021-22, 3,564 (37 per cent) were still in progress on 1 April 2022.  

In addition, 12 per cent of applications were withdrawn before assessment meaning a further 1,128 people may have been deprived of their liberty without the appropriate safeguards during 2021-22.

Most applications for DoLS during the year continued to be from care homes for older adults. The report finds that overall, there was a slight increase in the number of DoLS applications received by local authorities in 2021-22, though numbers remained lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

More positively, most people are supported and represented in matters relating to their deprivation of liberty. This is a significant improvement on last year’s performance.

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