Shropshire Council

Deprivation of liberty safeguards

Please note that we're no longer be accepting DoLS requests by fax, and now using a new online system which is easier, safer and much more straightforward for managing authorities (care homes/hospitals) to use.

The following forms, used by care homes and hospitals, can be completed online...

These forms will time out, so it's worth completing a draft in Word (or something similar) and copying and pasting the answers over if you think it will take a while to complete, or if you may get interrupted

What are DoLS?

These safeguards apply to people aged 18 and over in hospitals or care homes who lack the mental capacity to decide to be there. People likely to be affected are those with learning disabilities, or elderly people with dementia, but also a minority of other people who lack capacity to consent to where they receive care or treatment.

Key features

  • Hospitals and care homes have to identify the restrictions that they need to have in place to keep someone safe
  • If these restrictions (when added together) amount to a deprivation of liberty the hospital or care home must request an authorisation from the supervisory body
  • It is unlawful for a hospital or care home to deprive a person of liberty without obtaining an authorisation

What is a deprivation of liberty?

The Supreme Court clarified in March 2014 how deprivation of liberty can be described. They said there is now a more straightforward way to work this out. If the person is:

  • Not free to leave, and
  • Subject to continuous or complete supervision and control

...they will most likely be deprived of liberty.

Many people in hospitals and care homes may have their liberty restricted, but not all will be deprived of their liberty. 

Deprivation of liberty in other settings

A deprivation of liberty can happen in any setting. Someone could be cared for in their own home in circumstances that are the same as those described above, or this could happen in supported housing. The safeguards can't be used to authorise this practice. If this situation occurs you can get advice initially from the DoLS Team.

Help and advice

  • Briefings about understanding DoLS after the Supreme Court decision are available from our Joint Training team
  • A poster to guide you through the process is available for care homes and hospitals by contacting the team
  • Training is also available from Joint Training

Revised versions of the DoLS forms used by supervising bodies and managing authorities have been produced following a consultation in 2014. This has resulted in a reduction in the number of forms from 32 to 13.  

It's hoped that the new forms, implemented by the Department of Health, will help to speed up the DoLS process, and we therefore advise that you use them. Information given in the forms is the suggested minimum requirement. ADASS has published further information about the forms, with links to them.

Notifying others

CQC

When an initial application for a standard authorisation is made the care home or hospital must notify the CQC. Once the outcome of the application is known the care home or hospital must notify CQC again with the outcome. Forms and guidance for providers about making statutory notification are available on the CQC website.

Coroner

If anyone dies in a care home or hospital in Shropshire and a DoLS authorisation is in place, the coroner must be notified on 0300 333 3000.

If in doubt please pick up the phone and contact the DoLS Team on 01743 255850.