Professionals and Practitioners

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)

At times, some people will need to be deprived of their liberty in their best interests, to protect them from harm. 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’.

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

Hampshire's 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 guidance below:

All referrals and enquiries should be made to:


Search Care choice

advanced search | search help

What am I entitled to?

The local authority is here to help everyone understand their needs and, if required, provide an assessment.

For more information about what help you are entitled to, please see the Who can get help from Adult Services web pages.

Try our online self assessment


The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Code of Practice, published by the Department of Health for more information

What are the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards?: Department of Health