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  • 28 February 2024
  • News

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) annual monitoring report 2022-23

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

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) ensures 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.

2022-23 Key Findings

  • There was an 18% increase in the number of DoLS applications assessed by the local authorities compared to the previous year.
  • The number of DoLS applications assessed by health boards increased by 32% in 2022-23, compared to figures seen in 2021-22.
  • The long delays in allocating, assessing and authorising applications continue to result in many people in Wales being deprived of their liberty, with no legal protection in place and no opportunity to challenge whilst waiting for a decision to be made. The length of time to assess applications must improve and completed within the statutory timeframe.
  • Many urgent authorisations expire before the required DoLS assessments can be undertaken. Some local authorities and health boards may benefit from reviewing their current procedures for urgent authorisation with managing authorities.
  • Most local authorities and health boards are unable to allocate the volume of requests received for further authorisations. All supervisory bodies must ensure people’s rights are protected and assessments for all applications are undertaken within stipulated number of days as set out in DoLS Code of Practice.
  • The use of conditions by local authorities and health boards varies, with some regions using them more than others. Supervisory bodies should ensure conditions are used where necessary and are focussed on improving outcomes for people including reducing or removing the deprivation.
  • Most people are supported and represented in matters relating to their deprivation of liberty. Supervisory bodies must continue to ensure a “relevant person’s representative” is appointed for all authorisations. 

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