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Andy Butler from Surrey Council advises on the assessment & authorisation process at the Deprivation of Liberty event today

Andy ButlerAndy Butler

Andy said his presentation was founded on the contention that we need to utilise the judgement to identify opportunities for creative practice and professional development rather than simply being overwhelmed by the increased demand for assessments.

The unprecedented demand to Supervisory Bodies for DOLS Authorisations requires a crisis management response. A crisis, in this context, can be defined as ‘a significant threat to operations that can have negative consequences if not handled properly’. Crises typically present themselves as appearing to be unsolvable! Organisational crises typically create three related threats: public safety, financial cost / loss and reputational loss.

Effective crisis management handles these threats sequentially with the primary concern always being public safety. The current challenges to Supervisory Bodies regarding DOLS require local authorities to hold these threats in tension as well as providing a risk management response that focuses on the public safety and staff wellbeing.

Managing increased numbers of applications (1)
Supervisory Body must have a strategic plan to anticipate increased demands: (applications, BIA’s, financial costs, administrative costs
Identify risks ( statutory deadlines, financial costs, JR)
Secure DASS & Senior Management support
Agree risk-based priorities (re P – i.e. ‘genuine’ urgent) – NB. Same priority as MHA assessments!
Develop a clear procedure – and follow it!
Invest in front end of process: triage, triage, triage!

Managing increased numbers of applications (2)
Increase BIA Capacity:
Utilise existing BIA’s more effectively; frequency, number of assessments etc.
Train more BIA’s from own staff  [CPD / PQ Training] – NB. Need to QA applications – BIA is not for everyone!
Promote BIA training with Managing Authorities and other organisations e.g. Hospitals; MH Trusts, Voluntary Organisations
Forward plan for re-applications next year
Maximise & stagger authorisation periods
Utilise Equivalent Assessments
Ensure sufficient Authorisers of appropriate seniority and competency are available

Andy said his presentation aims to provide some practical solutions as well as some professional challenges based on the experience of his own authority and gleaning examples of best practice from others.

Scroll down for full presentation

Relevant events of interest:

Adult Safeguarding under the Care Act 2014
Monday 17 November London

Delivering a High Quality Elder Friendly Service
Wednesday 10 December London

Undertaking Adult Safeguarding Investigations & Serious Case Reviews
Thursday 11 December London


Download: Andy Butler Presentation

13 October 2014


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