Coventry City Council

500 BIA Backlog and Aftercare Service

ICS Assessment Services were initially commissioned by Coventry City Council to alleviate a backlog of Best Interests Assessments in 2015, due to unprecedented referrals from Managing Authorities. To date, we have completed a total of 500 Best Interests Assessments, clearing the entirety of the Council’s pre-existing backlog.

Following the successful delivery of the project, we now have an ongoing support and maintenance package, managing their monthly Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding referrals, while Coventry grow a permanent team of Best Interest Assessors who will be capable of handling all assessments in the future. Our role now is focused on providing an effective legacy for the Council.

Key Achievements:

  • Completed a backlog of 500 DoLS cases
  • All assessments cleared within 5 months using qualified Best Interests Assessors
  • 98% of assessments accepted at first submission by the Council
  • Dedicated aftercare service in place to deal with new assessments
  • Quality Assurance feedback and amends resolved within 48 hours


Despite the best efforts of the internal DoLS team, the Council were still left with a significant backlog which, along with the increased assessment workload from new cases, presented a real challenge in fulfilling their legal obligations to service users via existing in-house capacity.

We spent time working closely with the council to understand their existing DoLS process, their team’s capacity, and their specific requirements, and proposed an outsourced assessment model, utilising contracted, locally-based Best Interests Assessors to complete assessments. Our in-house administrative team would deal with the secure transfer of data and allocation of assessments to the BIAs. The completed assessments were quality assured by our DoLS Lead, according to the Council’s own standards, before being returned to the Council.

Following the clearing of this backlog, ICS have since provided an aftercare service for the Council, helping them to fulfil their legal obligations by clearing between 40-100 new assessments every month. The service continued for a fixed period of time, allowing the Council time to expand its permanent DoLS team.

Working with the Council’s dedicated Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards team to ensure the best possible service that would meet the Council’s needs, their attention-to-detail was excellent, and we were pleased with their work throughout. "The solution offered was tailored to our specific circumstances, and the extra capacity provided meant that we were able to respond to demand in an efficient and thorough manner, on time and to budget. The quality of the assessors provided was good, and we were pleased with the reliability of the service. Their in-house DoLS leads were able to quality check to Coventry’s standards, meaning the vast majority of assessments were accepted upon first submission with the remainder cleared extremely quickly." "They are now in the process of running an ‘after care’ package, working with the council to clear new assessments. I would recommend ICS Assessment Services to a Council with similar challenges with responded to demands for BIAs.

David Watts, Assistant Director, Coventry City Council