Responding to new NHS Digital stats on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) assessments, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“Councils are doing everything they can to protect the rights of the most vulnerable people and will continue to prioritise those most in need. Despite an 11 per cent increase in applications from 2015/16, the number of DoLS applications completed increased by 45 per cent.
“Following the Supreme Court judgment in March 2014, there was a just under 70 per cent increase in completed assessments from councils between 2014/15 and 2015/16. This increased activity has caused significant cost pressures on council budgets at a time when adult social care services face a £2.3 billion funding gap by 2020.
“We have long warned of the need to overhaul the current DoLs process so that councils have the time and money to do this properly. Failure to do this both will have a damaging impact on crucial council services on which people rely and will lead to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities continuing to face long waiting times for assessments.
“We look forward to working with government to develop a reformed, fully funded scheme so that councils can ensure that everyone who lacks mental capacity is at the heart of decisions made about their care.”