Staffordshire County Council (18 004 809) [2019] MHLO 41 (LGSCO)

Failure to carry out DOLS assessments LGSCO decision: "The Council has acted with fault in deciding not to assess low and medium priority Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards applications. The Council is also taking too long to deal with urgent applications. This is causing a potential injustice to the thousands of people in its area who are being deprived of their liberty without the proper checks that the restrictions they are subject to are in their best interests." The final sentence of the conclusion states: "[I]t is not acceptable that the only way low and medium priority applications are resolved is because the people involved move away or die."

Summary from LGSCO website

Category: Adult care services > Assessment and care plan

Decision: Upheld

Decision date: 08 Mar 2019

Summary: Since May 2016 the Council unlawfully decided not to carry out assessments of low and medium priority Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) applications and significantly delayed assessing the remaining applications.


The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.


To remedy the injustice to those who may be affected, and to prevent similar problems from recurring, we make the following recommendations.

  • The Council should produce an action plan for how it is going to deal with all incoming DoLS requests and the backlog of unassessed DoLS requests.
  • The Council should produce the action plan within three months of the amendment to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 being finalised by Parliament.
  • The action plan should take into account any changes to the law and Government guidance.
  • The action plan should include a mechanism for addressing those cases where the request is eventually not approved, and an unlawful deprivation of liberty has had a potentially harmful impact on that person.
  • The Council should review the action plan should there be any further changes to the law or Government guidance.

External links


Full judgment: No Bailii link (neutral citation is unknown or not applicable)
Download here


  • Deprivation of liberty🔍
  • LGO decisions🔍

Date: 8/3/19🔍

Court: Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman🔍


  • Staffordshire County Council🔍

Citation number(s):

What links here:

  • No pages link to this page

Published: 10/8/19 22:11

Cached: 2024-04-25 04:22:17