Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) are part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and provide additional protection for the most vulnerable people living in residential homes, nursing homes, hospital environments and supported housing through the use of a rigorous, standardised assessment and authorisation process. They aim to protect those who lack capacity to consent to arrangements made in relation to their care and/or treatment, but who need to be deprived of their liberty in their own best interest to protect them from harm. They also offer the person concerned the rights:
- To challenge the decision to deprive them of their liberty;
- For a representative to act for them and protect their interests; and
- The right to have their status reviewed and monitored on a regular basis.
DoLS help ensure that an institution only restricts liberty safely and correctly and only when all other less restrictive options have been explored. The Local Authority manages this process and reports to the local Safeguarding Adults Board.
Further Information can be found at:
Cambridgeshire County Council: Deprivation of Liberty – Cambridgeshire County Council
Peterborough City Council: Peterborough Information Network | Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Peterborough (Adults)
Liberty Protection Safeguards
The Liberty Protection Safeguards will provide protection for people aged 16 and above who are or who need to be deprived of their liberty in order to enable their care or treatment and lack the mental capacity to consent to their arrangements.
People who might have a Liberty Protection Safeguards authorisation include those with dementia, autism and learning disabilities who lack the relevant capacity.
The Liberty Protection Safeguards were introduced in the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 and will replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) system. The Liberty Protection Safeguards will deliver improved outcomes for people who are or who need to be deprived of their liberty. The Liberty Protection Safeguards have been designed to put the rights and wishes of those people at the centre of all decision-making on deprivation of liberty.
The Liberty Protection Safeguards were planned to come into force in April 2022. However on 16th December 2021 it was announced that this target would not be met, and a new implementation date has not yet been determined.