Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) protect the most vulnerable people who lack capacity to consent to the care or treatment they receive and who are being cared for in hospitals, care homes or nursing homes, whether placed under public or private arrangements, but who are not detained under the Mental Health Act.

DoLS can be used to check whether restrictions placed upon an adult are necessary, proportionate and in the adult’s best interests. Where there is a risk of someone’s liberty being deprived, the care provider must apply for a deprivation of liberty assessment.

Two independent professionals, often an adult care worker and a doctor, consider the person’s best interests and complete several DoLS assessments. These are scrutinised by a manager within the local authority before the adult’s deprivation of liberty may be formally authorised.

Two questions are considered when assessing whether a person has been deprived of their liberty:

  1. Is the person subject to continuous supervision and control? And
  2. Is the person free to leave? (This applies even if a person does not wish to leave, and/or is physically unable to do so.)

In Derbyshire, DoLS referrals are prioritised, with precedence given to people who are subject to the most significant restrictions.

If an adult is assessed as being deprived of their liberty, this does not imply any criticism of the care they receive.

Contact Call Derbyshire on: 01629 533190 if you require more information.