Royal Cornwall Hospital

Truro

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Deptivation of Liberty (DoLs) - forms here

​Key messages

  • The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They apply in England and Wales only.

  • The Mental Capacity Act allows restraint and restrictions to be used – but only if they are in a person's best interests.

  • Extra safeguards are needed if the restrictions and restraint used will deprive a person of their liberty. These are called the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

  • The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards can only be used if the person will be deprived of their liberty in a care home or hospital. In other settings the Court of Protection can authorise a deprivation of liberty.

  • Care homes or hospitals must ask a local authority if they can deprive a person of their liberty. This is called requesting a standard authorisation.

  • There are six assessments which have to take place before a standard authorisation can be given.

  • If a standard authorisation is given, one key safeguard is that the person has someone appointed with legal powers to represent them. This is called the relevant person's representative and will usually be a family member or friend.

  • Other safeguards include rights to challenge authorisations in the Court of Protection, and access to Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs).