Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards


The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were introduced in 2009 as an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act. They allow restraint and restrictions to be used in a care home or hospital when they are in the patient or resident's best interests.

The restraints and restrictions may include the use of:

  • bedrails or wheelchair straps
  • restricting contact with friends and family
  • one-to-one care
  • using keypad locks to restrict access to certain areas of a unit

It may also be that the resident is staying somewhere against their wishes. The extra safeguards require that if a person is being restrained or restricted then an independent assessment must be carried out by a Best Interest Assessor to determine if the deprivation of liberty is in their best interests. Care Homes and hospitals have to inform the local authority if they are going to restrain or restrict a person. If restraint or restriction is required in other settings then the case needs to be taken to the court of protection.

Further details on DoLS are available on the Islington Council website.