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Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) Applications for Professionals

DoLS relate to people who are aged 18 years or over, who lack mental capacity and who need to be in a care home or hospital for their treatment or care. If the person is not free to leave and is under continuous supervision and control, then a DoLS authorisation may be required. A managing authority which is a care home or hospital can apply for DoLS. 

For information regarding MCA and DoLS during the Covid-19 pandemic please see the guidance from the Department of Health & Social Care - The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic (opens in a new window).

Points for the managing authority to consider before applying for DoLS

Checklist

Number Question If answered "No" If answered "Yes"
1 Do you believe they lack capacity to consent to their accommodation and care? No application can be made Application may be made 
2 Is it possible that they will need to be deprived of liberty within 28 days?  Reconsider when reviewing care Application may be required
3 Is the person 18 years of age or older (or going to turn 18 within 28 days)? No application can be made Application can be made
4 Is the person liable to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, or subject to conditions of mental health treatment that conflict with the application? Application may be made Application cannot be made
5 Will the person be incapacitated or accommodated for more than a few days? Application should not be made Application can be made
6 Will it be necessary to care for the person in a way that could deprive them of liberty, immediately? Apply for standard authorisation now, and...  ... grant urgent authorisation

Your responsibility

  • ensure all care planning includes whether the person has capacity to consent to their care and treatment, including any restrictions and restraints placed on them
  • ensure the relevant people involved in the person care are aware of the decision and that records are updated
  • ensure any recommendation regarding changes to care practice are carried out
  • keep the situation under constant review if the level of restriction/restraint is increased consider again whether or not the circumstances could result in a deprivation of liberty

If DoLS is authorised you should

  • comply with any conditions attached to an authorisation
  • monitor whether the relevant persons representative maintains regular contact – Inform the supervisory body (Local authority who completed the DoLS authorisation) if you have any concerns
  • involve the Representative in any decision which needs to be made about the persons care
  • inform the supervisory body of any change in circumstances where a review of the current authorisation may be required
  • before the current authorisation expires, consider whether a further DoLS authorisation will be required; the request for this should be submitted 28 days before expiry date
  • keep clear records for governance and inspection
  • inform CQC about the authorisation