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One in five DoLS completed on time, NHS data shows

Only one in five standard Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) applications were completed within 21 days in 2021-22, down from 24 per cent in the previous year.

In addition, applications were completed within an average 153 days, five days longer than in the previous year, according to NHS Digital Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards figures for 2021-22.

The report shows that there were an estimated 270,650 DoLS applications during 2021-22. This is an increase of 5.5 per cent compared to the previous year. However, the growth rate per year is slowing – between 2014-15 and 2019-20 this was 14 per cent each year, whereas during the most recent five-year period (2016-17 to 2021-22) the growth rate averaged 4.5 per cent.

The proportion of DoLS applications which have an urgent authorisation attached has increased from 54 to 56 per cent from 2020-21 to 2021-22.

An estimated 254,215 applications were completed in 2021-22. This has increased over the last five years by an average of 11 per cent each year.

The reported number of cases not completed as at year end was an estimated 124,145, which is a rise of 4 per cent.

Some 56 per cent of completed applications in 2021-22 were not granted. The main reason was given as change in circumstances, at 65 per cent of all not granted cases.

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