Deprivation of liberty safeguards (Dols) teams across England and Wales are under huge strain after a March 2014 Supreme Court ruling triggered a ten-fold increase in caseloads. So how long are best interests assessors – the specially trained staff who coordinate Dols cases – taking to complete assessments?
That’s one of the questions one local authority’s Dols team is hoping to answer through a survey launched this week. The team at Cornwall council are looking for best interests assessors across the country to complete the survey to help provide a national overview of the time it is taking for BIAs to complete assessments. The team are also hoping to identify any time standards that BIAs are being asked to work within.
The survey, which does not ask for any personal details and can be completed anonymously, asks BIAs to factor in case complexity, travel time and paperwork along with other issues faced. Responses will be accepted until 21 August. The results of the research will be shared in September.