Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLs)

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLs) are in addition to, and do not replace, other safeguards in the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

This means that decisions made, and actions taken, for a person who is subject to a deprivation of liberty authorisation must fulfil the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in the same way as for any other person.  In particular, any action taken under the deprivation of liberty safeguards must be in line with the 5 principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

On 19th March 2014, the Supreme Court published its judgement in the case of “P vs Cheshire West and Chester Council” and ” P & Q vs Surrey County Council”.  The judgement introduced an ‘acid test’ to determine whether people (who have been assessed as lacking capacity to consent to their care and treatment) are being deprived of their liberty.  The ‘acid test’ for assessing whether someone is being deprived of their liberty is:

  • Is the person subject to continuous supervision and control?
  • Is the person free to leave?

The focus is not on the person’s ability to express a desire to leave, but on what those with control over their care arrangements would do if the person sought to leave.  As a result of the Cheshire West ruling the Council received 1145 authorisation requests in 2015- 2016 compared to 15 received in 2013 – 2014 i.e. pre Cheshire West.

Deprivation in Non Residential Settings

If a person is receiving care – arranged by the Local Authority – in a supported living environment or similar domestic situation and are, in their best interests, being deprived of their liberty, then the Council’s Supervisory Body will apply to the Court of Protection for authorisation of the deprivation.

For more information on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLs) and which forms need to be completed please go to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Forms or click on DoLs Guidance which will take you through to the Adass website and provide a more detailed explanation of each form.