Cllr Linda Thomas, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, responds to a new Bill published today on reforms to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).
“These reforms, which the LGA has long-called for, are much-needed to help councils fulfil their statutory duties and ensure the rights of vulnerable people are protected.
“Councils have completed four times as many DoLS applications as those received in the past year, but this has added yet more worrying cost pressures on overstretched council budgets at a time when adult social care faces a funding gap of £3.5 billion by 2025.
“We are keen to work with government on further details so councils can ensure that people who lack mental capacity are at the centre of decisions made about their care and to ensure that transition arrangements cause minimal impact on individuals, their carers and the workforce. We also need clarification on whether councils and their local partners providing health, care and support will have to develop the new scheme within existing budgets.
“However, if we are to truly help protect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, a sustainable solution to funding adult social care as a whole is still urgently needed to tackle immediate pressures and long-term funding gaps which cannot be ignored.”
Notes to editor
- Councils have been working hard to protect the rights of the most vulnerable people since the increase in responsibilities following the 2014 Supreme Court Judgement and will continue to prioritise those most in need. Despite an 11 per cent increase in applications from 2015/16 to 2016/17, the number of DoLS applications completed in 2016/17 increased by 45 per cent.