Commenting on the publication of statistics on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) assessments in England for 2015/16, Cllr Ray Puddifoot MBE, London Councils Executive member for adult social care, said:
“The number of DoLS applications made in London has increased by more than 8,000 compared to last year. Against the backdrop of shrinking council budgets and changing demographics, the scale of this increase means that, even with councils making efficiency savings year on year, it is more urgent than ever that government fully funds this new burden.
“As the Autumn statement approaches, we are calling on government to fully fund DoLS as well as all the other new burdens that social care departments are facing over this parliamentary period, including the National Living Wage, pensions reforms and people who have no recourse to public funds. A commitment to reviewing and improving the current DoLS system would also be welcome.
“Despite challenging circumstances, London boroughs continue to protect the rights of vulnerable people and ensure that applications for DoLS are processed appropriately and assessments are carried out on time. Government has a clear duty to support boroughs so they can carry out their safeguarding duties.”
Notes to Editors:
The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) are a set of rules designed to ensure that people who lack mental capacity are cared for in the least restrictive way possible, taking into consideration their safety and wellbeing.
The Cheshire West Supreme Court judgement in March 2014 significantly widened the interpretation of what legally constitutes a deprivation of the liberty as part of health or social care. Such deprivations of liberty require authorisation by local authorities or the Court of Protection.
This judgement has led to a significant increase in the number of DoLS authorisations that are being requested of boroughs.
According to NHS Digital’s report, 21,420 applications for DoLS assessments were made in London in 2015/16, compared to 12,725 in 2014/15. The figures also show that the total number of active applications London boroughs are processing is 25,430. To read the report in full, click here.