Ombudsman finds council’s decision to stop majority of DoLs assessments left 3,000 without legal protection

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found that a decision by Staffordshire council has left thousands of people with no or delayed access to proper legal protection. The council decided to stop assessing low and medium priority DoLs applications it received from care homes after the council created its own guidance for ranking requests. They say it was in response to financial pressures brought on by an increase in DoLs applications since Cheshire West.

The result of this decision has meant that around 3,000 people had no or delayed access to the proper legal protections.

The council are seen to be at fault by the ombudsman because of their decision and failing to comply with the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 and DoLs code of practice. An action plan has been requested from the council on how they will deal with all incoming DoLs requests and the backlog of unassessed DoLs requests.

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