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 backlog 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.
- 322 Best Interests Assessments completed and transferred to the Council for Authorisation
- Case backlog 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
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.
The service ICS Assessment Services supplied to the Council was a great success and has fulfilled all our expectations. I know from conversations with operational managers that they have been impressed with the efficiency and quality of the work undertaken, and have felt that positive working relationships have been maintained throughout the course of this contract.
I am extremely grateful to ICS for all their hard work during the contract’s lifetime – their contributions have put the Council in a much stronger position regarding best interest assessments going forward. We are now able to predict the approximate point at which the backlog of assessments will be eradicated, and this would not have been possible with ICS’s work.
Their services also provided excellent value for money, as they submitted high-quality assessments on time and to budget. We would not hesitate to engage with ICS in the future should the need arise, and I would highly recommend them to any other Council in a similar position to that of Worcestershire's.
Head of Adult Safeguarding, Worcestershire County Council