Go to navigation

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

From 26 January 2015, Medway DOLS Service will be based at our new address of:
Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR.

Our telephone and fax numbers will remain the same:

Telephone: 01634 331188
Fax: 01634 331866


Some people who are in either a hospital or care home, may need to be deprived of their liberty in order that they are able to receive care and/ or treatment. The Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty safeguards (MCA DOLS) (2009) were introduced into the Mental Capacity Act 2005 through the Mental Health Act 2007 (which received Royal Assent in July 2007).

Up to date articles and case law regarding mental capacity and deprivation of liberty, can be found at 39 Essex Street's website.

The MCA DOLS apply to anyone:

  • aged 18 and over
  • who suffers from a mental disorder or disability of the mind, such as dementia or a profound learning disability
  • who lacks the capacity to give informed consent to the arrangements made for their care and / or treatment
  • for whom deprivation of liberty (within the meaning of Article 5 of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is considered, after an independent assessment, to be necessary in their best interests to protect them from harm.

The DOLs online forms can be accessed here

Also, download the DOLs flowchart for answers to your questions.

The safeguards are there to ensure that:

  • vulnerable individuals are able to receive care with the least restrictions necessary
  • safeguards are in place for vulnerable individuals
  • that individuals and /or their  carers are able to challenge unlawful detention
  • professionals are provided with a clear process to work within.

For people living in a shared lives scheme or in supported living, DoLS can only be authorised by the Court of Protection. Please contact the adult social care team involved.

Good to know...

  • The ‘managing authority’ are those that have care responsibility for an individual e.g, a hospital or care home.
  • The ‘supervisory body’ is the Local Authority.
  • The managing authority should make an application to the supervisory body if a person  is being deprived of their liberty

Recent Supreme Court Judgment…

A Supreme Court judgment, March 2014, Cheshire West & Chester County Council V ‘P’ (2014) UKSC 19 and ‘P + Q’ V Surrey County Council (2011) EUKACIV 190, set the acid test for a deprivation of a person’s liberty as:

  • ‘P’ lacks the mental capacity to decide upon treatment, care and residency issues
  • ‘P’ is under continuous supervision and control
  • ‘P’ is not free to leave.

The above significantly changes the way in which deprivation of liberty is assessed.

Please see the link below:

More information on the SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT can be found here

This page will provide you with a number of online forms.

Use this map to check you are contacting the correct DoLs team

Email dols@medway.gov.uk

Phone 01634 331188

Fax 01634 331866

Medway Deprivation of Liberty Service, The Compass Centre, Pembroke, Chatham Kent ME4 4YH