The deprivation of a person’s liberty is strictly legislated for within the Human Rights Act (1988) and under the European Convention of Human Rights. Article 5 of the Human Rights Act states that “everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his or her liberty unless in accordance with a procedure prescribed in law.”  

What are DoLS, and why do we have them?

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards framework came into force on 1st April 2009 under the revised Mental Capacity Act (2005). The legislation is designed to protect and empower vulnerable individuals 18 years and older who lack the mental capacity to give consent to current or potential future deprivation of their liberty within a care home or hospital setting. It also provides a framework within which Local Authorities can lawfully assess and authorise such restrictions acting as the ‘Supervisory Body’. Decisions regarding the deprivation of liberty for people within other settings are currently dealt with under the Mental Health Act 1983 [as amended 2007] or are decided upon by the Court of Protection (supported accommodation, group or own home).

Who do DoLS apply to?

Any person over the age of 18 who is in a care home or hospital and have been assessed as lacking capacity to consent to being in the care home or hospital.

A DoLS does not apply to those who are detained under the Mental Health Act (as amended 2007).

How is a DoLS applied for?

The care home or hospital (who are known as the managing authority) complete a form 1. This is sent to us, the Local Authority, we are known as the Supervisory Body.

Checklist before you apply for a DoLS

Your organisation will need.

  • To have a MyWarrington Account (to submit a DoLS authorisation)
  • Details for the individual you are making the DoLS request for
  • Supporting information

In relation to supporting documents, you’ll need to have a photo of each of these, or have them scanned onto your computer, phone or tablet, so that you can upload them to your online form, if not supporting documents can be provided by email.

If you’re unable to upload your documents to your authorisation request, please email them to: please quote the case reference number you receive after submitting your application with any documents you send.

Which form should I use?

The referral type stage of the DoLS online application will let you choose the following forms to request your authorisation.

Standard authorisation (Form 1)

This is request for the Supervisory Body to complete an assessment for a standard authorisation. Also on this form the care home or hospital, who are known as the managing authority can grant themselves an urgent authorisation for up to 7 days.

Renewal of a Standard authorisation (Form 2)

This is a request for a further Standard Authorisation if the current authorisation is still in date. It can be applied for up to 28 days before the current authorisation expires.

Extension of an urgent authorisation (included in Form 1)

In exceptional circumstances it may be appropriate to request to extend the urgent authorisation.

Change of Circumstances/Review a standard authorisation (Form 10)

As one of the qualifying criteria is not met or there has been a change in circumstances of a current authorisation.

What happens next?

  • Once the above forms are submitted to us each case is individually screened and prioritised.
  • Once a case is allocated the care home or hospital is contacted and the assessments are arranged.
  • Once all the assessments are completed, they are compiled and sent for authorisation.

A DoLS Authorisations can be for up to 12 months, and a person can be subject to further authorisations.

During the process a Relevant Persons Representative (RPR) is identified (this maybe a family member, friend or a person from an advocacy service). It is the role of the RPR to support the person to understand their situation and rights under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. 


  • Relevant Person (the person who is being deprived of their liberty).
  • Relevant Persons Representative (RPR) It is the role of the RPR to support the person to understand their situation and rights under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, this could be a family member or friend.
  • Paid Relevant Persons Representative (PRPR). This person has the same role as above. However, they are commissioned to support the Relevant Person. They are independent of the Local Authority and there is no charge to the person.
  • Best Interest Assessor (BIA) A specially trained professional. It is the BIAs role to look, independently, at a person’s case, specifically considering a person’s human rights and their liberty.
  • Managing Authority (care home or hospital).
  • Supervisory Body (The responsible local authority).
17 June 2024