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  • 22 March 2022
  • News

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) annual monitoring report 2020-21

Key findings and recommendations from our joint review with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW).

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) ensure people’s human rights are protected and maintained, and that the care they receive is in their best interests and delivered in the least restrictive way.

The Safeguards apply to people over the age of 18 who can’t consent to treatment or care in a hospital or care home. They provide a legal framework for deprivations to prevent breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights.

2020-21 Key Findings

  • A decrease in the number of DoLS applications received by supervisory bodies in 2020-21.
  • Compared to the previous year, the total number of DoLS applications to health boards decreased by 6%. Three of the seven health boards reported a decrease.
  • Compared to the previous year, the total number of DoLS applications to local authorities decreased by 12%. 18 of the 22 local authorities reported a decrease.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the DoLS assessment process. Services had to adapt their working practices to reduce the risks of infection. Many individuals in hospitals were discharged or transferred and DoLS applications withdrawn before they were assessed.
  • The majority of DoLS applications continue to be for older people, with 87% 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.

Please visit the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales website to view the full report (external link).