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Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: Annual Monitoring Report for Health and Social Care 2015-16

A joint report between ourselves and Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)

This is the seventh annual monitoring report on the operations of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) in Wales.

What is a deprivation of liberty?

A deprivation of liberty is:

  • when a person is under continuous or complete supervision and control, and
  • is not free to leave, and
  • lacks capacity to consent to these arrangements

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.


  • There was a continued increase in the total number of DoLS applications received by supervisory bodies across Wales, rising by over fifteen per cent from 2014/15 to 12,298 applications from 10,681.
  • The number of applications received per 100,000 people in each council varied across Wales with an average of 356 per 100,000.
  • Seventy four per cent of applications relating to urgent authorisations processed by councils and health boards exceeded the seven day timeframe and two councils did not meet the timescale for assessments on any of the urgent applications they received.
  • Almost 27 per cent of applications to either councils or health boards had a decision within the required time scales.
  • The average authorisation rate across councils was 56 per cent and for health boards the figure was 38 per cent.
  • The length of time that authorisations were in place increased from last year and there were differences in the average length of time authorisations were granted across the different regions.
  • The number of DoLS authorisations where a review was carried out during the period still remained low at only 1% of authorisations. Overall, the vast majority of authorisations lapsed before a review was undertaken. Of the 12,298 applications in 2015/16, 336 had an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) appointed and 39 were referred to the Court of Protection.