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 MCA.

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

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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

Alternatively, download and complete our standard and urgent request form (DOCX, 166.7 KB). Please note that the word version of DOLS form 1 will only be available until 1 April 2019. After this date, you will only be able to apply using the online form.

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

Alternatively, download and complete our further authorisation request form (DOCX, 148.9 KB). Please note that the word version of DOLS form 2 will only be available until 1 April 2019. After this date, you will only be able to apply using the online form.

DOLS form 10 - review request

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