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Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

Information about safeguarding people who lack the capacity to make their own decisions whether they wish to be admitted to or remain in a hospital or care home for the purpose of care and/or treatment.

About Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

The MCA Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were introduced on 1 April 2009.

See more information about deprivation of liberty safeguards in the SCIE website

Eligibility for DoLS

The person must:

  • be 18 years of age or over,
  • be suffering from a mental disorder
  • lack the capacity to consent to be admitted to or remain in a hospital or care home.

The person cannot be subject to a DoLS authorisation if

  • they are (or could be) detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA) – 198
  • subject to a requirement under that Act that could conflict with the DoLS authorisation (for example Guardianship or a Community Treatment Order).

DoLS authorisation must be in the person’s best interests.

The authorisation can’t conflict with a valid decision by a holder of a Lasting Power of Attorney or a court appointed deputy.

It is not for the purpose of giving treatment that would conflict with a valid and applicable advance decision.

Types of DoLS authorisation

There are two types of authorisations: Urgent authorisation and standard authorisation.

Urgent authorisation

This is needed when the person is currently being deprived of liberty or the need cannot wait.

This authorisation is usually made by the hospital or care home and is valid for up to seven days.

Standard authorisation

This is needed when the person will be deprived of liberty in the next 28 days.

It is made by the hospital or care home where the person will be residing when the standard authorisation comes into force.

All requests under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are managed by the Islington council.

Download the form for both standard and urgent DoLs authorisation.

Contact us

Get in touch today if you have any questions about

  • deprivation of liberty regulations
  • mental capacity act
  • someone being deprived of their liberty


Telephone 020 7527 3828

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