The deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) protect people who do not have the mental capacity to consent to treatment.
They apply to people who lack mental capacity who live in a:
The safeguards make sure that any treatment a person in that situation receives is appropriate and in their best interests.
DoLS are due to be replaced by the Liberty Protection Safeguards in spring 2020, as part of the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act which became law in May 2019.
We’ll update you when the new Code of Practice has been created.
We’ve issued guidance on the law relating to DoLS. It helps solicitors and people working in health and social care to identify when a deprivation of liberty may be taking place.
The guidance includes fictional scenarios to explain the law following the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Cheshire West (2014). This judgment:
You can download the guidance in full or as individual chapters covering specific care settings.
Identifying a deprivation of liberty: a practical guide (PDF 1.3 MB)
Chapter 1 – introduction (PDF 648 KB)
Chapter 2 – the law (PDF 715 KB)
Chapter 3 – Cheshire West (PDF 681 KB)
Chapter 4 – the hospital setting (PDF 693 KB)
Chapter 5 – the psychiatric setting (PDF 671 KB)
Chapter 6 – the care home setting (PDF 686 KB)
Chapter 7 – the supported living setting (PDF 646 KB)
Chapter 8 – at home (PDF 644 KB)
Chapter 9 – under 18s (PDF 682 KB)
Chapter 10 – summaries of key cases (PDF 715 KB)
Chapter 11 – further resources (PDF 670 KB)
Read quick reference guides for specific care settings that highlight:
The hospital setting
The psychiatric setting
The care home setting
The supported living setting
The home setting