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Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) apply to people who are 18 years or over and unable to make their own decisions about arrangements for their care. The law states that authorisation should be granted prior to someone becoming deprived of their liberty, unless it’s an emergency.

DoLS apply to all people who are subject to “continuous supervision and control and are not free to leave” - this is when there are staff on hand 24 hours a day to help the person, or to protect them if they’re likely to come to harm. This is likely to apply to most care homes and hospitals.

“Not free to leave” means if the person wanted to leave, and never come back, or go out alone, this would be monitored or restricted in some way. It does not matter whether they could physically leave, or whether they want to leave, it means whether they would be free to go on their own if they wanted to.

In these circumstances, there should be an independent check on whether the arrangements are in the person’s best interests, and that there’s not a better way to care for them that is less restrictive of their rights.

Make a request for a DoLS authorisation

Care homes and hospitals can request a DoLS authorisation.

Contact us about DoLS  

If your family member has been referred and you are worried about whether they will be seen, or how long it might take to process the referral, please contact us:

Liberty Protection Safeguards (from 2023)

The government has announced that the plan to bring the Liberty Protection Safeguards into force to replace the DoLS has been postponed until after the next general election. No date has been confirmed

To view the documents in relation to this consultation please visit the government website.