Worcestershire County Council

320 Best Interests Assessments

We were contracted by Worcestershire County Council in 2016 after their Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding (DoLS) Team was experiencing up to 360 referrals every quarter and had grown a waiting list of 1,800 DoLS cases with Standard Authorisations at risk of being delayed. 

In addition to the Council actively recruiting more Best Interests Assessors into permanent posts, they explored other viable options with ICS in order to respond effectively to their immediate challenges. We subsequently provided an outsourced managed service to complete over 300 Best Interests Assessments to assist with the backlog. 

Key Achievements: 

  • 322 Best Interests Assessments completed and transferred to the Council for Authorisation 
  • Case waiting list cleared in 18 weeks using qualified Best Interests Assessors 
  • 88% of assessments accepted on first submission 
  • Assessments cleared on time and to budget 
  • Case turnaround in 18 working days 

Our Approach: 

The Council’s Head of Adult Safeguarding contacted us as a result of their challenges, to discuss a fully managed, outsourced assessments service. Given our experience of alleviating DoLS assessment backlogs in areas of a similar size to Worcestershire, we were able to direct the Council regarding the best approach to take. We demonstrated our focus on a quality, value for money approach, and provided an end-to-end service comprising Best Interests Assessments and Quality Assurance. 

We organised a rapid scoping and implementation period, where our Head of Projects and DoLS Lead met with Council management and stakeholders to: 

  • Prepare the security transfer processes 
  • Gain an understanding the Council’s quality thresholds 
  • Ascertain what reporting information would be required by Worcestershire 

A detailed project plan, agreed by all parties, was then produced and adhered to throughout the contract. We completed the original backlog within 18 weeks, utilising our extensive pool of Best Interests Assessors in the local area to complete assessments. As per our project plan, these assessors were co-ordinated and allocated assessments by our dedicated DoLS Admin Team, with all assessments quality assured by our in-house DoLS Lead.