Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) exists to safeguard individuals when a deprivation of liberty is an unavoidable part of a best interests care plan. Individuals who are identified as potentially deprived of their liberty must be considered on a case-by-case basis and all appropriate steps taken to remove the risk of a deprivation of liberty where possible.

DOLS provide legal protection for those vulnerable people who are, or may become, deprived of their liberty within the meaning of Article 5 of the European Convention on the Human Rights (ECHR) in a hospital or care home, whether placed under public or private arrangements. The safeguards exist to provide a legal framework and protection in circumstances where deprivation of liberty appears to be unavoidable in a person’s best interests.

Following the Supreme Court Judgement 2014, there was a significant change in what may constitute a DOLS authorisation. Professionals must remember that DOLS authorisations and Court of Protection orders are rooted in the principles of Mental Capacity Act.

For further information of the Supreme Court Judgement please see our guidance notes below.

Feedback

We would like to know what you thought of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) assessment process. Was the assessment process clear and satisfactory?

Please complete our feedback form to help us maintain our service and make any improvements.

Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS)

Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) were due to replace the current DOLS system from October 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the government has not announced a revised date yet.

Read the Liberty Protection Safeguards factsheets (PDF, 313.6 KB)

The LPS Code of Practice and regulation is yet to be published. In the meantime, we are planning how best to support these changes and will update this page when we know more.

How to complete the authorisation

Before you complete the online authorisation you must inform the person's family that you have made an application for DOLS authorisation.

You will be asked to upload your signature to the form, you must do this by either:

  • taking a photo on your mobile phone of your signature and uploading it via a word document or JPEG
  • alternatively, scan a copy of your signature and upload it via a word document or JPEG

Once submitted you will receive an email notification and you will be able to download the form once submitted for your own records.

DOLS form 1 - Standard and urgent request

If you are applying for an urgent authorisation and standard authorisation, please complete DOLS form 1.

Apply for a standard and urgent request

DOLS form 2 - Further authorisation request

If the person is already subject to a current DOLS Authorisation, which is due to expire, you must complete DOLS form 2.

Apply for a further authorisation request

DOLS form 10 - review request

Apply for a review request (DOCX, 152.2 KB).

Kent County Council and Medway Council have separate DOLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) services for receiving and processing DOLS applications.

For DOLS advice and support (or to send in a DOLS assessment or authorisation form) for people who are ordinarily resident in Kent, contact:

Phone: 03000 41 57 77
Email: dols@kent.gov.uk

Kent Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Service
Kent County Council
4th Floor Invicta House
County Road
Maidstone
Kent ME14 1XX

We are open 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

For people who are ordinarily resident in Medway, contact:

Medway DOLS Service
Phone: 01634 331188
Fax: 01634 331866
Email: dols@medway.gov.uk