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Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) provide additional protection for the most vulnerable people living in residential homes, nursing homes, hospital environments and supported housing through the use of a rigorous, standardised assessment and authorisation process. They aim to protect those who lack capacity to consent to arrangements made in relation to their care and/or treatment, but who need to be deprived of their liberty in their own best interest to protect them from harm. They also offer the person concerned the rights:

  • To challenge the decision to deprive them of their liberty;
  • For a representative to act for them and protect their interests; and
  • The right to have their status reviewed and monitored on a regular basis.

DoLS help ensure that an institution only restricts liberty safely and correctly and only when all other less restrictive options have been explored. The Local Authority manages this process and reports to the local Safeguarding Adults Board. In March 2014 the Supreme Court judgement in the case of “P v Cheshire West and Chester Council and another and “P and Q v Surrey County Council” lowered the threshold for a deprivation and significantly widened the scope of the Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards themselves.