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 situation but the following are 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).

Local Policy and Procedures 

Milton Keynes Council has a local policy for how it will implement Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and ensure a duty of care for people who are, or may become, deprived of their liberty. The policy is supported by a more detailed Practice Guide:

There are nationally agreed forms 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 Specialist DoLS Team via Only if the forms cannot be sent electronically they should be printed off as hard copies and posted to the DoLS Team at: Civic.1 Saxon Gate East, Central Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ.

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Last Updated: 29 July 2021