DoLS information for family, friends and carers
What to do if you think someone is being deprived of their liberty
If you are a resident in a care home or in hospital and you feel that you are being deprived of your liberty you can ask the managers of the home or hospital to make an application for an assessment of your situation.
You may be visiting someone close to you in a care home or hospital and feel the way they are being cared for is depriving them of their liberty without a proper authorisation. The Mental Capacity Act includes procedures for dealing with such a situation.
If the hospital or care home does not then request a standard authorisation within a reasonable period, you can ask the supervisory body to decide whether or not there is an unauthorised Deprivation of Liberty. You can use the to do this.
What happens when a Deprivation of Liberty is authorised?
When a Deprivation of Liberty is authorised it will set out when and how certain restrictions can be used.
Every person who has an authorised Deprivation of Liberty must have a named representative, known as a Relevant Person's Representative or RPR. This can be a family member, friend or, if there is no one appropriate or willing, a paid independent representative will be allocated. Only one person can be appointed to the RPR role for each authorisation.
Further advocacy support is available for both the person being deprived of their liberty and their representative, through the advocacy service. The Best Interests Assessor will discuss this with you during the assessment process. The DoLS Team will make the referral to this service, through The Tees Advocacy Hub, provided by People First Advocacy.
Further information about the advocacy support available can be found on the We Are People First website.
Review of a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) Authorisation
When a Deprivation of Liberty is in place it can be reviewed at any point. The purpose of the review procedure is to assess whether:
- a person still meets the qualifying requirements for being deprived of their liberty, or whether the reasons why they do have changed; and
- any conditions attached to the standard authorisation need to be varied
The supervisory body must carry out a review if one is requested by the person being deprived of their liberty, their representative, or by the hospital or care home where they are staying.
If you are being deprived of your liberty you can request a review. You can use this to do this. If you are the representative of a person being deprived of their liberty you can request a review. You can use this to do this.
Challenging a DoLS Authorisation
In some cases a person or someone acting on their behalf may not agree with a Deprivation of Liberty or some of the conditions surrounding it.
If you have concerns we strongly urge that you speak to the care home or hospital where you, or your friend/family member is a resident and in the event that all other available routes have been tried an application can be made to the Court of Protection.
The Court of Protection deals with cases for people who lack mental capacity. Anyone with a DoLS authorisation and their representative has an automatic right of appeal to this Court. Anyone else can apply to the Court but they would need permission to do so.
Applications to the Court of Protection can be made under the following circumstances:
- before an authorisation is given - this can be done by you or someone acting on your behalf and would be to ask the Court to decide whether you have capacity or not
- after an urgent authorisation has been given - this can be done by you or certain people acting on your behalf, such as a deputy, and can be about whether the urgent authorisation should have been given, the period for which it is to be in force and/or the purpose for which it has been given
- after a standard authorisation has been given - this can be done by you or your representative and can be about whether you meet the qualifying requirements for Deprivation of Liberty, the period for which it is to be in force, the purpose for which is has been given and/or the conditions attached to the authorisation
An application should be made to the Court of Protection where a DoLS authorisation is in place and the person is objecting (by words or actions) to the care arrangements.