Leicestershire County Council

1,300 Best Interests and Mental Health Assessments

In 2016, Leicestershire County Council was experiencing over 250 Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) referrals per month. This represented a huge challenge in both budgeting and quality of service delivery. 

We have since been engaged to provide a flexible and cost effective service, dealing with a waiting list of over 1,300 Best Interest Assessments through our experienced, qualified project management services. 

Key Achievements: 

  • 1,310 BIAs and MHAs returned to LCC 
  • Throughput of 21 cases handled per week 
  • 914 Urgent cases (70% of total) 
  • 416 individual Care Homes visited 
  • 119 Out of Area cases (9% of total) 
  • 75 cases screened no longer requiring assessment 
  • 75.2% of assessments accepted on first submission (325 returns amended within 72 hours) 
  • 60 qualified BIAs and 15 MHAs employed on this contract 
  • 22.7 working days average turnaround per assessment (from allocation to submission) 

Our Approach: 

We engaged on a 4-month initial term with Leicestershire County Council to eliminate the waiting list of Best Interests Assessments and ensure the Council was able to deal with future demand effectively. 

All cases forwarded to our Administration Team were screened before being allocated to a qualified Assessor. Through this process, 14.7% of all cases were screened out, representing savings to the Council £184,986 in over the lifetime of the project. 

As part of the project we completed a 4-week implementation period which involved agreeing the process for commissioning both Mental Health Assessments and Best Interests Assessments; ensuring a safe and secure data transfer process that is adhered to throughout the project, and the detailed quality assurance and assessment standards, including agreeing the information communicated (through leaflets, BIAs and the Xyla Administration Team) to RPs, friends and relatives. 

In addition, we developed a number of processes to ensure effective delivery in this contract: 

  • Produced a Form 5 template, approved by the Council, allowing Form 5s and 6s to be completed in a timely and efficient manner 
  • Established a single point of contact (SPOC) for administration and quality assurance in both organisations 
  • Staggered case allocation to MHAs and BIAs to prevent any delays 
  • Weekly Management Reporting which ensured Council records could be updated and weekly reports accurately recorded the status of the project 

We completed the project within the agreed timescales, utilising our extensive pool of Best Interest Assessors in the local area to complete assessments. Our assessors were co-ordinated and allocated assessments by our dedicated DoLS Admin Team, with all assessments quality assured by our in-house DoLS Lead.