This is the sixth annual monitoring report on the operations of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) in Wales.
What are the Safeguards?
The Safeguards exist to empower and protect any individual with mental disorder, where there is doubt about their mental capacity, to make informed decisions about their care when they are hospital patients, or residents in a care home.
- The number of applications for the Safeguards saw a 16-fold increase on the previous year, from 631 applications in 2013-14, to 10,679 applications being made during the period April 2014 to March 2015.
- In respect of the rate per 100,000 population, regional and local variations still remain with Wrexham County Council having the lowest rate of 35.5, and Carmarthenshire Council and Swansea City Council the highest rates of 561.4 and 556.6 respectively.
- Of the 10,679 applications, 74% were urgent authorisations and 26% were standard. Of applications processed, 66% of applications in hospital settings were not authorised compared to 31% in care home settings.
- 21 days is allowed for the standard authorisation assessment process. In looking at the 21 day target, of those applications where the process was completed, 56% (3,057) of applications were not completed within 21 days of submission. 43% (4,613) of applications received during 2014-15 remained outstanding at the end of March 2015.
- The number of applications being processed within 21 days has increased almost 10-fold from 562 in 2013-4 to 5,424 in 2014-5.
- The length of time that authorisations are in place has increased in general, with 55% of authorisations being valid for a year in 2014-15, compared with only 1% in 2013-14.
- The number of reviews remain low with only 1% of DoLS authorisations having a completed review in 2014-15, compared to 8% in 2013-14.
- The number of applications to the Court of Protection rose from 2 in 2013–14 to 10 in 2014–15.