The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) is a legal framework set out in Schedules A1 and 1A of the Mental Capacity Act. They apply when;
The Acid Test (defined in the case of Cheshire West) sets out the 3 conditions that must always exist in order for a detained person to be deemed deprived of their liberty;
Click here to access a flowchart summarising the circumstances when the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards apply.
Deprivations of liberty can occur in any setting. However, the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards framework in the Mental Capacity Act only applies in the specific circumstances set out above.
The Court of Protection has powers under the Mental Capacity Act to authorise deprivations of liberty when;
The High Court has powers to authorise deprivations of liberty when the person being deprived is a young person under the age of 16 (and thus where the Mental Capacity Act does not apply).
If restraint is being used appropriately then it is not likely that the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards will apply. Restraint is defined under the Mental Capacity Act as;
Restraint is appropriate under the Mental Capacity Act when;
Indicators that the restraint may require authorisation under the DoLS framework include;
If a managing authority is not certain that the use of restraint is appropriate they should request a standard authorisation.
There is no requirement to authorise a Deprivation of Liberty when the person is detained in a hospital for life saving treatment, so long as the treatment is;