Isle of Anglesey shamed as slowest to deal with DoLS

Isle of Anglesey local authority has been named and shamed as the slowest health authority for authorising Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) applications, official data for Wales has revealed.

During 2017-18, the authority took an average well in excess of 300 days to authorise an application, almost three times the all-Wales local authority average of 83 days. The quickest authority was Caerphilly at around 50 days, according to the annual monitoring report on the operations of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) in Wales 2017-18.

In total, roughly half of standard DoLS applications in Wales, and two thirds of urgent applications did not receive a decision within statutory timescales: 48 per cent (706 out of 1,482 standard applications that had a decision) took more than 28 days to process, and for urgent applications, 66 per cent (1,344 out of 2,049 applications that had a decision) missed the seven day target.   

The main period of delay occurs between a form being logged and being allocated to an assessor.  

During 2017-18, 14,743 new DoLS applications were received by Welsh health boards and local authorities, (590 DoLS applications for every 100,000 people), which represents an increase of 8 per cent from the previous year. The majority of individuals subject to a DoLS in 2017/18 were female and over the age of 65. 47 per cent of all applications were for a standard authorisation, 39 per cent for an urgent and 14 per cent for a further authorisation. At the end of the year, 6 per cent of DoLS applications had been refused, 113 authorisations underwent a review, and 72 applications were challenged in the Court of Protection.

Most DoLS applications per 100,00 population were made in Wrexham (493) and the least in Merthyr Tydfil , Monmouthshire and Rhondda Cynon Taf at 313. The local authority average is 389. Among health boards the fewest DoLS applications were made in Aneurin Bevan HB at 114 and the highest at Cwm Taf at 394. The health board average is 201.

Health Boards authorised 1,410 applications, but were more likely to refuse an application than Local Authorities.  

  • Encouraging local authorities to take more care homes in-house and develop co-operative models of residential care are under consideration in Wales as a way to shore up public care provision, deputy minister for health & social services Julie Morgan has said.

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