Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) provide a legal safeguard for people who are in hospitals or care homes and are deprived of their liberty for the purpose of providing treatment or care in their best interests. The person must have a “disorder or disability of mind” as detailed in the Mental Health Act 1983 (for example dementia, learning disability) and be assessed as lacking the mental capacity to consent to these arrangements.
Deprivation of liberty is likely to occur when the person has little or no choice about their life within the care home or hospital and is not free to leave and is under continuous supervision and continuous control by the staff and their care plan.
The hospital/care home (the Managing Authority) applies to the Local Authority for a ‘standard’ authorisation for a deprivation of liberty. The supervisory body must assess each individual situation and agree or refuse the authorisation.
Hospitals and Care Homes (the Managing Authority) have a duty under the Safeguards to:
- (a) provide care and treatment in ways that do not deprive a person of their liberty , or if this is impossible…
- (b) apply to the Supervisory Body for authorisation of the deprivation of liberty.
The Local Authority (the Supervisory Body) have a duty under the Safeguards to:
- (a) assess any person for whom the Managing Authorities request a deprivation of liberty assessment;
- (b) authorise a deprivation if it is necessary in the best interests of a person to whom the Safeguards apply;
- (c) set any necessary conditions to ensure the person’s care/treatment regime meets their needs in their best interests;
- (d) set a timescale for how long a deprivation can last;
- (e) appoint a Representative for the person
- (f) keep records of who is being deprived of their liberty.
(i) Discuss the issue with the hospital or care home. They may be able to change a person’s care or treatment to ensure the person is not being deprived, or may be able to explain why a person is not actually deprived of their liberty.
(ii) Request that the Supervisory Body reviews the person, to see whether they are being deprived of their liberty. This request can be in writing, or by phone.
Contact details for these requests (for care homes and for hospitals) are:
For advice contact the MCA/DOLS Lead: Christine.Conway@dudley.gov.uk
Any additional enquiries and electronic submission of completed forms: 01384 324542 or email email@example.com