Will DoLSpro save the Liberty Protection Safeguards?


2019 has started with a bang for DoLSpro. The company which specialises in software for the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, has just had some good news, which has left the team feeling great about the start of the year. We sat down with Managing Director Tristan Johnson to catch a glimpse of what the last 12 months has looked like and see why he has a big smile on his face.

2018 was an interesting year for DoLSpro. We’ve been working with a number of organisations to look at how to implement our systems. It’s been hard at times. Constraints within the sector have slowed things down for a lot of tech companies. Then there’s the Liberty Protection Safeguards…”.

Legislation that covers mental health is always going to be a complex area, and so any organisation that tries to come in and innovate within the sector has their work cut out for them. This is clearly the case for DoLSpro. The Liberty Protection Safeguards came onto the table in the Summer and have spent most of 2018 being debated in the House of Lords – much to the disdain of the social work and care community. Tristan notes how the delays and continuous debates over the Liberty Protection Safeguards has been to the detriment of practitioners and front-line services in social work as a whole. “I think there’s a real opportunity missed. A real chance to create something positive has generally been abused with a view to moving financial responsibility away from the Local Authorities into the private sector. There’s a sting that’s not yet been realised.”

I was curious to see where he was going with this train of thought. He went on to elaborate: “well if I were the care home sector, there’s a massive financial burden being placed upon my shoulders, which will be directly absorbed by the consumer”. Does this mean LPS assessments will become a chargeable commodity? “Well… think about it” he replied coyly. And when you do think about it, your brain starts spinning. Trust me.

As One Stop Social are always on the hunt for mechanisms and services that will help our social work community, our interest was piqued, but I wanted to know how he thinks DoLSpro will support the Liberty Protection Safeguards. “We’ve already had discussions with Local Authorities about how we support them to quality assure the assessment process. There’s some encouraging work being done… a lot of committed stakeholders”. While the specifics are being developed, DoLSpro is forming an active part of the conversation for Local Authorities when they’re considering Liberty Protection Safeguards.

You get the sense with Tristan that he knows what he’s talking about. This is a social worker who understands the sector, has a drive to improve it and is doing something about it. This effort is evident with DoLSpro which, after launching in 2016, is already hitting the development stages of DoLSpro 3. Tristan’s personal push for success – “I like to keep moving… there’s always room for improvement” – is helping the software to stay ahead of the game and innovate alongside the legislative changes. But how does he measure success? Simple answer: “I don’t – it’s not about succeeding, it’s about trying to better everyone’s general ability to do their job. And we are lucky that there’s a real sense of team at DoLSpro”.

2019 has already started positively for DoLSpro. On the day of our interview they had found out they had won their second award in consecutive years. “I can’t thank our users enough – without them we would be nothing”. It’s clear DoLSpro are doing something right for the social work sector, and people are starting to take notice. We’re guessing there will be more smiles on the faces of the DoLSpro team in no time, and hopefully this positive start to 2019 for them will translate across the sector and towards a lifeline for the Liberty Protection Safeguards.

Want to find out more? 

To learn more about DoLSpro visit www.dolspro.co.uk  and don’t forget, all London or South-East based members of our social work community can chat to the DoLSpro team at our upcoming convention, Work and Care Together, on 24th January! Tickets are completely free so don’t miss your chance to find out more about the software and hear more from Tristan Johnson!

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