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Welsh care home DoLS feel COVID effect

Shortages of care staff and an initial lack of remote access caused difficulties in properly facilitating virtual Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) assessments in Welsh care homes during COVID-19, specifically, the provision of sufficient information to conduct assessments.

According to Healthcare Inspectorate Wales’ Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) annual monitoring report 2020-21 overall, there was a 6 per cent decrease in the number of  DoLS applications received by supervisory bodies in 2020-21. Three of the seven health boards in Wales reported a decrease.

Compared to the previous year, the total number of DoLS applications to local authorities decreased by 12 per cent. 18 of the 22 local authorities reported a decrease.

The majority of DoLS applications continue to be for older people, with 87 per cent of applications being for people over the age of 65. Most applications for DoLS continue to be from care homes for older adults, and from hospital wards for older adults.

Over the last three years there has been an increase in both the number of DoLS reviews undertaken, and representations made by Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs).

The proportion of authorisations referred to the Court of Protection has seen year on year increases for the period 2018-21.

Wales has opened its consultation on the introduction of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), which will replace DoLS in Wales.

  • CHM’s latest Legal Special podcast looks into the Court of Protection. This relates to decisions and declarations on financial, welfare and property.  Join our two experts Neil Ward, a partner at Mills & Reeve LLP and  Rachael Hawkin, a solicitor at Hempsons.  They discuss how the scope of the Court of Protection has broadened and the link with the Mental Capacity Act. They also explain deprivation of liberty, the role of the official solicitor, third-party disclosure and the importance of good record keeping.

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