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This page provides information for people who are, or may be, deprived of their liberty, and their family, friends and unpaid carers.
An overview of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), including what they are and who they apply to, can be found on the The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards page. This should help you identify if the safeguards apply to you or someone you know or care for.
For the purposes of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty is not authorised if:
If you are a resident in a care home or in hospital and you feel that you are being deprived of your liberty you can ask the managers of the home or hospital to refer you for an assessment of your situation.
You may be visiting someone close to you in a care home or hospital and feel the way they are being cared for is depriving them of their liberty without a proper authorisation. The Act includes procedures for dealing with such a situation.
If you believe that someone is being deprived of their liberty without proper authority, the Act allows for you to ask the hospital or care home to request a standard authorisation. You can use the Letter 1 example to do this.
If the hospital or care home does not then request a standard authorisation within a reasonable period, you can ask the supervisory body to decide whether or not there is an unauthorised Deprivation of Liberty. You can use the Letter 2 example to do this.
When a Deprivation of Liberty is authorised it will set out when and how certain restrictions can be used.
Every person who is subject to an authorised Deprivation of Liberty must have an allocated representative. This can be a family member, friend or, if there is no one appropriate or willing, a paid representative will be allocated.
Further support is available for both the person being deprived of their liberty and their representative, through the Independent Mental Capacity Act (IMCA) service. This service is accessed through the Tees Advocacy Hub, provided by Middlesbrough Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
When a Deprivation of Liberty is in place it can be reviewed at any point. The purpose of the review procedure is to assess whether:
The supervisory body must carry out a review if one is requested by the person being deprived of their liberty, their representative, or by the hospital or care home where they are staying.
If you are being deprived of your liberty you can request a review. You can use the Letter 3 example to do this. If you are the representative of a person being deprived of their liberty you can request a review. You can use the Letter 4 example to do this.
We understand that in some cases a person or someone acting on their behalf may not agree with a Deprivation of Liberty or some of the conditions surrounding it.
In these cases we strongly urge that you speak to the care home or hospital where you, or your friend / family member is resident. As mentioned above a review can be carried out if requested, and in the event that all other available routes have been tried an application can be made to the Court of Protection.
Applications to the Court of Protection can be made under the following circumstances:
Please also see the leaflet Information about making an application to the Court of Protection to challenge an authorisation.
Please see the following leaflets for further information.