Rochdale 'Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards' applications above national average

Date published: 03 November 2017

The number of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) applications submitted in Rochdale is above than the national average with 726 applications per 100,000 adults, according to figures released by NHS Digital.

DoLs are a legal framework that exist to ensure that individuals who lack the mental capacity to consent to the arrangements for their care, where such care may (because of restrictions imposed on an individual's freedom of choice or movement) amount to a 'deprivation of liberty', have the arrangements independently assessed to ensure they are in the best interests of the individual concerned.

In the North West, 514 applications for every 100,000 adults were received in 2016/17, compared to 433 the year before, which was the third lowest number received. This is now higher than the national average of 492.

The number of DoLS applications submitted nationally in 2016/17 increased to 217,000, compared with 196,000 the previous year – an increase of 11 percent.

In 2016/17, 15% of adults in the north west had multiple applications submitted to the local authority, above the national average of 14 percent. However, all individuals in the Rochdale Borough had just one application each.

In the North West, 22 percent of applications were received by the local authority during 2016/17 where the planned duration was up to 90 days. 1,090 applications were received by Rochdale Borough Council. 205 of these were received as urgent and 885 as standard: of these, 725 were completed with 75 being urgent.

It took Rochdale Borough Council an average of 43 days to complete the application after receiving it, with the shortest duration lasting less than one day and the longest taking up to 217 days. On average, it took 24 days from receiving the application to the final assessment, and 23 days from the last assessment to completion. 180 standard applications were completed within 21 days.

Most applications came from residential care homes with 565, closely followed by 335 from nursing homes. 115 applications were received from acute hospitals and 60 from other services. A total of 695 applications were granted in the borough after 215 applications were withdrawn and 30 not granted due to not meeting the assessment criteria.

In Rochdale, 143 applications were received for the 18-64 age group (95 granted), and 535 for the 65-74 age group (313 granted). This increased to 3,508 for those aged between 75 and 84 (2,382 granted), and to 9,660 for those 85+ (6,612 granted).

This is equal to 487 completed applications per 100,000.

Jane Timson, Rochdale Borough Council’s head of safeguarding and practice assurance, said: “We are committed to protecting the rights of vulnerable people through a robust Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) Framework, which works in the best interests of individuals by ensuring the least restrictive care arrangements are in place.

"Rochdale responded quickly and effectively to the 2014 Cheshire case law, which saw an increase in the number of people meeting the DoL requirements, and we are one of the quickest councils in Greater Manchester for successful completing DoL applications.

"The safety and wellbeing of individuals will always be our priority.”

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