Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)
The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) in conjunction with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 were introduced in 2009 to provide legal protection for vulnerable people who are or may become deprived of their liberty in their best interests.
The safeguards apply to people aged 18 or over in hospitals and care homes throughout England and Wales who have a mental disorder and lack capacity to consent to care or treatment. Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards does not apply to people who are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.
There is no set definition for what constitutes a deprivation of liberty. In each case, the following factors would need to be considered:
- Was restraint (including sedation) used to admit the person to an institution?
- What level of control do staff exercise over the care and movement of a person?
- What level of support does the person need from staff?
- Has a decision been made to not allow the person into the care of others or to live elsewhere?
- Have carers / next of kin requested for the person to be discharged into their care and this request has been rejected?
- Is the person able to have access to their friends / family / carers?
- Is the person under continuous supervision from staff?
Hospitals and care homes have a duty to identify anyone who could be at risk of a deprivation of liberty.
How to apply for a deprivation of liberty authorisation:
Slough Borough Council has one single point of entry for receiving all requests for a deprivation of liberty authorisation. The safeguarding team will co-ordinate all requests.
Once the managing authority (care home or hospital) has determined if an urgent or standard authorisation is required, they must complete the relevant form and contact the DoLS administrator: