top of page

Local Government Ombudsman upholds complaint against council with highest DoLS backlog in England

The Ombudsman says that the council failed to assess Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards requests in accordance with the timescales set out in law. Whilst the Ombudsman acknowledged the pressures on councils since the Cheshire West judgment in 2014. It also said that people may have been restricted unnecessarily and/or illegally deprived of their liberty.

The Ombudsman states: "...these figures show that Surrey County Council had 5700 outstanding DoLS requests on 31 March 2022. This is the highest backlog in England."

They went on to say that: "The NHS Digital figures show the mean duration to complete a DoLS assessment in England is 154 days. However, the mean duration for the Council to complete a DoLS assessment is 345 days. The Council completed only 7.6% of the standard requests it received within 21 days. In England the average number of standard requests completed within 21 days is 20.4%."

A common theme in these Ombudsman investigations into the DoLS Backlog appear to be the council following ADASS guidance but then people classed as 'low priority' dying before they are assessed: "The Council appears to be following ADASS advice on prioritising cases. However, the statutory timescales as set out in paragraph 10 still apply..."

The Ombudsman discovered the council's DoLS backlog while investigating a different compliant and opened a new investigation. You can read the full report here

* Click HERE to view and book Edge's online events and conferences **


bottom of page