Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)

Protections for people who need to be deprived of their liberty to protect them from harm

At times, some people will need to be deprived of their liberty in their best interests, to protect them from harm. Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) are an important protection for people who are at risk of being deprived of their liberty in a hospital or a Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered care home, who lack capacity to consent to the arrangements and are not detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Registered homes and hospitals are 'managing authorities' for DOLS and they have the responsibility for preventing unnecessary deprivations of liberty and recognising when a deprivation of liberty is occurring or is likely to occur. They are also responsible for granting 'urgent authorisations' and referring to the 'Supervisory Body' for a DOLS assessment to grant a 'standard authorisation'.

Department of Health and Social Care Publications
Identification of a deprivation of liberty

The Supreme Court laid down an acid test to assist homes and assessors to identify a deprivation of liberty on 19 March 2014.

This acid test states:

The person is under continuous supervision and control and is not free to leave, and the person lacks capacity to consent to these arrangements.

The Supreme Court ruled that the following factors are not relevant to whether or not someone is deprived of their liberty:

  • the person’s compliance or happiness or lack of objection
  • the suitability or relative normality of the placement (after comparing the person’s circumstances with another person of similar age and condition)
  • the reason or purpose leading to a particular placement

The Law Society has issued a comprehensive guidance on the law relating to the deprivation of liberty safeguards:

Deprivation of liberty: a practical guide – 9 April 2015

Hampshire supervisory body

Hampshire County Council is the Supervisory Body for all people who may be deprived of their liberty in a hospital or care home, lack capacity to consent to this and are 'ordinarily resident' in Hampshire.

Persons who are deprived of their liberty in other settings, such as Supported Living or their own homes cannot have this authorised through the DOLS process. See the Hampshire DOLS leaflet

All referrals and enquiries should be made to:

The DOLS Administrator
Phone: 01962 845213
Fax: 01962 834504
Email: [email protected]

DOLS Forms

Hampshire County Council DOLS Team started using the new DOLS forms on Monday 27 April 2015.

These forms have been developed by ADASS and the Department of Health to streamline the DOLS process and still be fully compliant with the DOLS regulations. There is also guidance for using these forms that has been issued by ADASS and the Department of Health.

Forms guidance

The Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards guidance to the forms

Homes and hospitals

For applications, urgent authorisations and extensions use Form 1.

Form 1: Request for standard authorisation and urgent authorisation

Renewal and suspension of authorisation

The current review forms will be replaced by form 10. This should be used if the qualifying requirements may no longer be met, and when a managing authority feels that a DOLS needs to end (for example, if a person leaves a care home or hospital).

Form 10: Review request

Best Interest Assessors (BIA)

For all BIA assessments, use Form 3.


Record all doctors assessments on Form 4.

Form 4: Mental Health Eligibility Capacity Assessments

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)