Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Information on DoLS and how to apply for authorisation.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) protect the rights of adults with a mental health condition who:

  • live in care homes or hospitals
  • are kept under continuous supervision and control
  • are not free to leave the care home or hospital
  • lack capacity to consent to being accommodated for care and/or treatment.

The safeguards apply irrespective of whether:

  • the care or treatment is being privately or publicly funded
  • the person objects to the restrictions, or is very happy in the care home or hospital.

A deprivation of liberty will only be authorised if it can be shown that it is necessary, proportionate, and in the person's best interests. This will be decided following an assessment by specially trained staff.

It is the responsibility of hospitals and care homes to contact us if they have concerns and need an authorised deprivation of liberty.

How to apply for a deprivation of liberty

From the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) website, download, complete and sign:

  • Form 1 (Urgent and Standard Authorisation) -  Authorises a deprivation of liberty for up to 14 days, starting on the day the form is signed.
  • Form 2 (Request for Further Authorisation) – For use only after previous application if DoLS already granted
  • Form 10 (Request for Review) – For requesting review during authorised DoLS.

Guidance for completing the above forms is available from the ADASS website

All forms should be sent via email or fax (not post), to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Team. We will confirm receipt of the forms.

Applications to vary or terminate an authorised deprivation of liberty

A person under DoLS is entitled to legal representation if they want to challenge their authorisation; a solicitor will be able to advise on the court process and also on the availability of Legal Aid.

Form COP DLA should be used for applications to vary or terminate a standard or urgent authorisation made by a supervisory body under Schedule A1 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Form COP DLA (GOV.UK) (external link)
Last updated:
15 August 2018

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