Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

2. Managing Authorities - make an application

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were introduced into the Mental Capacity Act 2005 by the Mental Health Act 2007. They came into force in April 2009. The DoLS Code of Practice supplements the main Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice.

DoLS only apply if someone is living in a care home or hospital. The safeguards will provide protection:

  • for circumstances that amount to a deprivation of their liberty (freedom)
  • if they lack the capacity to consent to the care or treatment they need

A deprivation of liberty should:

  • be avoided wherever possible
  • only be authorised in cases where it's in the person’s best interests and the only way to keep them safe
  • be for as short a time as possible
  • be only for a particular treatment plan or course of action

We are the Supervisory Body for all requests for assessment of a Deprivation of Liberty.

Care homes, care homes with nursing, independent hospitals and acute hospitals are defined as Managing Authorities under DoLS. Managing Authorities must make a referral to the Supervisory Body in order to lawfully deprive someone of their liberty.

A judgement from the Supreme Court has revised the test for a Deprivation of Liberty. The forms and process for a DoLS remain unchanged.

If you're a Managing Authority read the information for managers of care homes in Stockport leaflet (PDF 301Kb) which outlines your responsibilities.

Make a DoLS application

To make an application for a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard, or to request a review, email forms 1, 2 or 10 to