Mental Capacity Act - Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)

The safeguards aim to ensure a person is only deprived of their liberty where this is necessary for their safety, and that they receive the care and treatment they need. They also (when a DOL Authorisation is in place) provide people with access to a court to challenge their detention and a representative to support them. 

There is no definition of what is a deprivation of liberty, it will always depend on the individual facts of each case but the following would be relevant:

  • If someone is not allowed to leave the care home or hospital,
  • If they have no, or very limited, choice about their life within the care home or hospital,
  • If they are prevented from maintaining contact with the world outside the care home or hospital.

If someone is at risk of, or is already being deprived of their liberty, the managing authority of the care home or hospital must apply for authorisation to the supervisory body; In Milton Keynes this is Milton Keynes Council (Adult Social Care).

There are Standard Forms published by the Department of Health as part of the guidance for managing authorities (hospitals and care homes) which MUST be used when requesting DoLS authorisations.

  • Urgent authorisation by a managing authority.
  • Standard authorisation,
  • Suspension / lifting of suspension (standard authorisation)
  • Review of a standard authorisation

Forms must be fully completed and wherever possible sent electronically to the Access to Adult Health and Social Care Team. Only if the forms cannot be sent electronically they should be printed off as hard copies and posted or faxed to the Access to Adult Health and Social Care Team.


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Last Updated: 17 July 2018