Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)

A new law came into force from April 2009 that safeguards those people who lack capacity to consent to the care or treatment they receive and are being cared for in registered care homes, registered nursing homes or hospitals.

What is DOLS?

These are safeguards for people who lack capacity to make decisions about their care or accommodation in a care home, nursing home or hospital. If those providing their care consider they need to be deprived of their liberty in their best interest, they must seek permission to do this.

Who does the legislation apply to?

The DOLS only apply to people who lack capacity to consent to the care or treatment they receive and:

  • they are over 18
  • receive care in a hospital or registered care home setting
  • the care they receive deprives them of their liberty
  • they are not detained under the Mental Health Act

Redbridge Council is the Supervisory Body for all requests for assessment of a Deprivation of Liberty for residents of Redbridge. Care homes, nursing homes and hospitals are defined as Managing Authorities under DOLS. Managing Authorities must make a referral to the Supervisory Body in order to lawfully deprive someone of their liberty.

Managing Authorities

To make an application for a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard or to request a review, please or fax the relevant forms to 020 8708 5395.

Department of Health guidance for Managing Authorities

Forms for Managing Authorities to apply for a Deprivation of Liberty

Members of the public

If you are concerned about, or know of a person who may be being deprived of their liberty, you should raise your concern with the manager of the care home or the hospital where the person is in. If you believe your concerns are not being appropriately addressed, you should contact the Redbridge Safeguarding Adults & Protection Team on 020 8708 5395.

DOLS codes of practice

DOLS introduction leaflet

For those living at home, supported living or residential college (16+), please contact the Redbridge Safeguarding Adults & Protection Team on 020 8708 5395.

Changes to DoLS

In April 2022 the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) will be replaced by a new scheme called the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS).

The new LPS, like DoLS, will provide a system for authorising care arrangements in England and Wales that require a person to be deprived of their liberty, in line with the UK’s obligations under article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

LPS will differ from the current DoLS process in a number of ways:

LPS will apply in any setting, not just care homes or hospitals.

LPS will apply to anyone aged 16 or over, rather than 18 and over under DoLS.

Assessments will no longer have to be carried out by specially trained and qualified assessors. Assessors will need to have appropriate experience and knowledge, but the only role that requires a distinct qualification and specific training under the LPS is that of the Approved Mental Capacity Professional (AMCP). This is a new role and will carry out assessments where it is believed that the person is objecting to the care arrangements or where they are placed in an independent hospital.

LPS authorisations will have an initial limit of 12 months, but unlike DoLS authorisations they will be renewable. The first renewal will have a limit of 12 months, and subsequent renewals could be for up to three years.

At present the code of practice is being written and more detail about how the scheme will run is due to be published in 2021. Check this page for updates.