Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) provide additional protection for adults living in care homes or in hospitals who do not have the capacity to make decisions for themselves.


The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards provide additional protection for adults living in care homes or in hospitals who do not have the capacity to make decisions in respect of their care, treatment, and/or accommodation.

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were introduced into the Mental Capacity Act 2005 by the Mental Health Act 2007 and have been in force since April 2009.

Wolverhampton City Council are the designated Supervisory Body for DoLS referrals for all persons with ordinary residence in the Wolverhampton area.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) provide additional protection for adults living in care homes or in hospitals who do not have the capacity to make decisions for themselves about their care or treatment, but do not fall under the remit of the Mental Health Act, or the Court of Protection.


There is a legal requirement under DoLS for the managing authority (the care home or hospital) to apply to the supervisory body (Wolverhampton City Council) for a person to be assessed where they believe that they need to be deprived of their liberty to prevent them from harm.

The supervisory body arranges for a team of assessors to complete six separate assessments to ensure the proposed deprivation is in the person's best interests, and that all requirements are met.

Age - The person to be deprived must be over 18 years old.

Eligibility - the case and person must be eligible for the DoLS legislation (i.e. not sectionable under the Mental Health Act, or requiring intervention by the Court of Protection).

Mental Health - the person to be deprived must have a diagnosis of a mental health disorder.

No Refusals - the proposed deprivation must not conflict with an advanced decision or lasting power of attorney.

Mental Capacity - the person to be deprived must lack the capacity to make an informed decision in respect of the proposed deprivation.

Best Interests - The proposed deprivation must be both in the persons best interests, and the least restrictive option available.

Only if all six assessments agree will deprivation of liberty be granted, authorisation will be granted for the minimum time necessary, up to a maximum of 12 months, at which point the case will require reassessment.

If the authorisation is declined the managing authority must find alternative, less restrictive ways, to carry out the treatment or care.

If you believe someone is being deprived of their liberty

If you believe that you, or someone you know, are being deprived of liberty without authorisation, it should first be raised with staff at the care home or hospital for action via the normal channels; if staff fail to request an authorisation you may request a third party referral by contacting the DoLS team using the details at the bottom of this page, the Supervisory Body will then appoint assessors to determine if an illegal deprivation is occurring.

Relevant Persons Representatives

All authorised DoLS cases must have a representative for the relevant person, independent of the care home or supervisory body; this function is usually provided by a friend, family member, or where the person is unbefriended, a paid persons representative from a Mental Capacity Advocacy service.

Representatives may be asked to make decisions or act on behalf of the person being deprived, and have the right to challenge any authorisation in place if they feel it is no longer in the persons best interests, or that one of the completed assessments is incorrect.

Further guidance can be found in the document A Guide for Relevant Persons Representatives.

Managing Authorities (Care Homes / Hospitals)

Guidance, resources and e-learning

Guidance has been released by the Law Society, including quick reference guides for different care settings, and key case summaries.

This guidance provides an overview of the new DoLS requirements, and quick reference guides to provide examples of what arrangements contribute to Deprivation and what information should be included in referral forms. 

Online resources and e-learning are available from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) website, at the following addresses;


Please ensure you are using the correct and up to date forms when making a referral, current forms can be downloaded using the links below;

  • Initial Authorisation - For use in initial applications, contains Urgent and Standard Authorisation requests. Due to current case backlogs, please note your request will be prioritised based on the information contained in this document, please ensure this is completed to the best of your ability and contains suitable information on all care and interventions.
  • Renewal Request - For use in requesting the renewal of an existing authorisation, must be submitted no less than 3 weeks prior to the expiration of the granted authorisation.
  • Renew or Cease Request - For use in requesting the review of an aspect of an existing authorisation, where circumstances have changed, or to notify the supervisory body of the relocation. 

Your responsibilities

Managing authority staff have the following responsibilities in respect of any authorised Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards case:

  • Provide hard copies of received case documentation for the attention of the relevant person, and inform them of their rights under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, in a suitable manner.
  • Ensure all conditions which are stipulated in the authorisation are met, as far as feasible, in order to maintain the legality of the authorisation (see form 5). Where these are not feasible record attempts and steps taken to meet these conditions, and feedback to the supervisory body.
  • Review the care plans for the relevant person on a regular basis, ensuring that the restrictions in place are still necessary to ensure their safety and enable appropriate care, request a review if the care situation changes in respect of the authorisation, or if it is felt that the authorisation is no longer required.
  • Inform the relevant persons representative (see end of form 5) of any changes in the care situation, and consult with the representative when making key support decisions.
  • Request a renewal of the authorisation a minimum of 3 weeks (21 days) prior to the end of the authorisation period, failure to submit a renewal request, or review at the time it is felt the authorisation is no longer required, will result in a lapse and potential illegal deprivation.
  • Inform the relevant DoLS team upon the relocation of the relevant person - authorisations are location specific and will cease on relocation of the relevant person (note that this includes hospital admission); and 
  • Ensure that care staff are familiar with their responsibilities to maintain the authorisation.

Contact us



Telephone: 01902 553259

Fax: 01902 553210

Write to:

Safeguarding Services
Priory Green Building
Whitburn Close