Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), relate to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions about their care and treatment, and who are deprived of their liberty in a care home or hospital.

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) are an extension of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (‘MCA’).  

This Act introduced laws to protect individuals who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves,

The safeguards provide a statutory framework for acting for, or making decisions on behalf of individuals who lack the mental capacity to do so for themselves.

The MCA and DoLS ensure that deprivation of liberty: 

  • should be avoided wherever possible
  • is authorised only in cases where it is in a person's best interests and it is the only way to keep them safe
  • will be for as short a time as possible
  • will only be for a particular treatment plan or course of action


Deprivation of liberty can be authorised by ‘Supervisory Bodies’, subject to the qualifying criteria being met. 

Croydon council is the Supervisory Body in Croydon

There are two practice documents which explain the process in detail:

Additional resources including the DoLS forms and guidance  are available on the Gov UK Website.

Contact us

Croydon Council’s Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) team 
Phone: 0208 760-5534 (between 10am and 4pm)