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National review of the use of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) in Wales 2021 - 2022

Key findings and recommendations of our joint review with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).

Together with CIW, we have joint responsibility for the monitoring and reporting of DoLS and publish an annual report on the applications received by Health Boards and Local Authorities each year.

What are the Safeguards

The Safeguards exist to empower and protect individuals who lack mental capacity. They provide a legal framework to prevent breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights as authorisation must be sought before a person can be deprived of their liberty.

2021-22 Key Findings

  • The length of time taken to process applications remains poor. Supervisory bodies must ensure people’s rights are protected and assessments for all applications are undertaken within the stipulated number of days as set out in DoLS Code of Practice.
  • Overall, there was a slight increase in the number of DoLS applications received by local authorities in 2021-22, though numbers remained lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Most people are supported and represented in matters relating to their deprivation of liberty. This is a significant improvement on last year’s performance.
  • The majority of DoLS applications continued to be for older people, with 87% of applications being for people over the age of 65. Most applications for DoLS continued to be from care homes for older adults, and hospital wards for older adults.

Read the full report and all the key findings below.