Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Information about how people in hospitals or care homes who lack the capacity to consent to certain treatments are protected.

What are the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)?

They focus on people in hospitals or care homes, who need care and treatment that may take away some of their freedom, but who lack the capacity to consent to these arrangements.

These safeguards have been created to make sure any decision is made following the correct processes and alongside specific authorities.

How to make a DoLS Application

Our Adult Care Portal gives you the ability to send a DoLS application directly to the DoLS team.  It’s quick, easy, and a secure way to request a:

  • DoLS standard and urgent authorisation
  • further standard authorisation
  • DoLS suspension
  • DoLS review

Submit a DoLS form

Please note: If you're using the portal for first time, you will be asked to create an account. 

DoLS form user guides 

Adult Care Portal user guides and information 

  • Request a DoLS authorisation
  • Request a DoLS extension
  • Request a DoLS suspension


From Monday 3 April 2017, coroners no longer have a duty to undertake an inquest into the death of every person who was subject to an authorisation under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). 

For any person subject to a DoLS authorisation who has died on 3 April 2017 or any time after, their death need not be reported to the coroner unless the cause of death is unknown or where there are concerns that the cause of death was unnatural or violent, including where there is any concern about the care given having contributed to the person’s death.

Any person with any concerns about how or why someone has come to their death can contact the coroner directly. This will not change where a person is subject to a DoLS authorisation. What has changed is that the coroner will no longer be duty bound to investigate every death where the deceased had a DoLS in place.  

For more information on coroner services, please see the Coroner Services Guides.

Read the guidance No 16a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (PDF, 84KB).

This Law Commissions Review of the Mental Capacity Act and the DoLS is complete. The final report and draft Bill were published on 13 March 2017.

The final Government Response to the Law Commission's review of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and Mental Capacity was published on 14 March 2018

The government have set out in detail their provisional view of each individual proposal in their response, and broadly agree with the Liberty Protection Safeguards model. As they have commissioned a review into the Mental Health Act, proposals that relate to the interface between the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act will be considered as part of that review. The government want to ensure that Liberty Protection Safeguards fit with the conditions and future direction of the health and social care sector, so will continue to work through the details of the recommendations and engage further with stakeholders particularly on implementation and will bring forward legislation to implement the model when parliamentary time allows.

Government's Final Response to the Law Commission's Consultation

Responses to the consultation

Full list of DOLS forms.

To support the completion of forms please read this Guidance to the DoLS forms. Managing authorities (care homes and hospitals) should consult this guidance, which will assist them when making a DoLS referral.

Where managing authorities believe that the requirements for a DoLS application are met, they should accurately complete the DoLS Form 1 (Standard Request and Urgent Authorisation).

For full guidance on the DoLS, managing authorities should refer to the DoLS Code of Practice (PDF, 474KB). 

We have brought together some examples of best practice (PDF, 324KB) to demonstrate how DOLS can have an impact on the customer they were designed to protect.