How long do your DoLS assessments take?

Cornwall Council’s DoLS team is undertaking a survey to find out how long assessments by Best Interests Assessors take. The lead contact for the survey is Paul Wilkins ( and the survey link is here.  

The Supreme Court’s decision in Cheshire West (see Cheshire West and Chester Council v P (2014) UKSC 19, (2014) MHLO 16) brought a momentous change to practice for Best Interests Assessors (“BIA”), whose role is central in assessing for the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (“DOLS”).

Currently there appears to be very little evidence about the time it takes for BIA’s to complete individual assessments. BIA’s must obtain, evaluate and analyse complex evidence and differing views and weigh them appropriately in their decision-making. With a growing number of outstanding DOLS referrals nationally and pressures on Local Authorities to meet those demands the DOLS team at Cornwall Council are keen to learn more about the time it takes BIA’s to complete their assessments and any time standards that may have to work within.

This survey is aimed directly at Best Interests Assessors, we won’t ask for any personally identifiable information and the format of the survey is simple so it won’t take up to much of your time. We aim to share the results and we will be posting to social media sites with a specialist interest in this area (where you may already have found the link to this survey) and via the DOLS lead network.

Survey closes Friday 21st August 5pm


3 thoughts on “How long do your DoLS assessments take?

  1. Thank you Lucy, results in September we hope, we may extend the survey for a week or too, as its the holiday period but we have no firm plans yet.

  2. Mine are taking me on average about a day and a half to complete if I get to speak to everyone on the quick time scale. I find the new paperwork has taken around half a day off the total as the PDF documents kept crashing

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