If someone lacks the capacity to make decisions about their care, treatment and accommodation they may need to be deprived of their liberty in order to keep them safe.

This is known as a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

A DoLS is:

  • putting someone under the DoLS to keep them safe
  • restricting someone’s freedom to give them constant supervision and care
  • for those are in a care home or hospital for treatment but can’t make choices in their best interest.

If someone is under a DoLS:

  • a representative will be identified. This will be a family member, friend or a paid representative who will visit and check they’re being looked after in a way that means they’re safe
  • they can ask for a review
  • and their representative disagree with the deprivation, they can ask for the court of protection to decide if they should be deprived of their liberty.