Deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS)

February 4, 2021
September 1, 2023

By Jane Stanfield, Associate Practitioner

When someone who lacks mental capacity is in a hospital or care home there may be some restrictions on their liberty such as keypad door locks, cot sides or certain medications such as those causing drowsiness.

In order for the principles of Best Interests and Least Restrictive Option to be applied, there are additional protections for people under the DoLS rules, which were added as an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act. 

This is how DoLS protects people in a residential setting who lack mental capacity to object to a restriction.

You can see that the role of RPR is important and if you are appointed as one you should receive a booklet to help you understand your responsibilities and rights.

DoLS were due to be replaced by Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) in 2020 but we understand this will not now come into force until Autumn 2024.  Deprivations of liberty will have to be authorised in advance by “the responsible body” who will be the hospital manager for NHS hospitals.  For care homes and other settings the responsible body will be the local authority.

Deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS)
DoLS are there to protect people in a residential setting who lack mental capacity to object to a restriction
Legal rights