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  • 7 February 2023
  • News

We have published our 2021-22 National joint review with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) on the use of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

Due to ongoing delays in DoLS applications being assessed, we cannot always be assured people’s human rights are not being breached by being deprived of their liberty unlawfully.

DoLS were developed to ensure people’s human rights are protected and maintained, and 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.

2021-22 Key Findings

  • The length of time taken to process applications remains poor. Supervisory bodies must ensure people’s rights are protected and assessments for all applications are undertaken within the stipulated number of days as set out in DoLS Code of Practice.
  • 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.
  • Most people are supported and represented in matters relating to their deprivation of liberty. This is a significant improvement on last year’s performance.
  • The majority of DoLS applications continued to be for older people, with 87% of applications being for people over the age of 65. Most applications for DoLS continued to be from care homes for older adults, and hospital wards for older adults.

Read the full report and all the key findings below.

National review of the use of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) in Wales 2021-22