Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

The Mental Capacity Act has provided a legal framework to ensure that people that lack capacity who are being deprived of their liberty are being done so lawfully. Find out more here.

Why use the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

  • It is a legal requirement for hospitals and care homes to use Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards if a person's care or treatment restricts their freedom.
  • Depriving someone of their liberty may be crucial to ensure they receive care and treatment necessary to prevent harm.
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards ensure that any restrictions or limitations on a person’s freedom will be monitored and if necessary, challenged.
  • Hospitals and care homes using the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards will need to review and reassess their practices to ensure that they are the least restrictive.
  • Staff in hospitals and care homes can be assured of legal protection for the actions they take to detain a person provided they work in accordance with the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

Consideration must always be given to the least restrictive options for delivering care and treatment that avoid depriving someone of their liberty wherever possible.

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