Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Team and Submission of DoLS forms

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The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) includes DoLS. This protects people who do not have the mental capacity to consent to treatment. It checks that the deprivation is both appropriate and in their best interests.

DoLS apply to anyone aged 18 who lacks mental capacity. This means that a person is unable to make their own decisions regarding their care and support needs.

A lack of mental capacity could be due to:

  • a stroke or brain injury
  • a mental health problem
  • dementia
  • a learning disability
  • confusion, drowsiness or unconsciousness because of an illness or the treatment for it
  • substance misuse

The safeguards cover people in:

They protect the interests of extremely vulnerable people to:

  • make sure they can get the care they need in the least restrictive way
  • prevent arbitrary decisions that deprive vulnerable people of their liberty
  • provide safeguards for vulnerable people
  • provide people with rights of challenge against unlawful detention via the Court of Protection

We are the supervisory body for hospitals and residential and nursing homes in Surrey. All requests for standard authorisations for people who usually live in Surrey must be sent to our DoLS team for assessment.

In 2019, amendments to the act introduced the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS). This has a wider remit than the current DoLS system. It was due to replace DoLS from 2020 but is currently delayed. It is not known when LPS will come into force.

Managing authorities should continue to apply to us if they consider it necessary to deprive a person of their liberty.

To find out more see:

Make an online request

Applications for DoLS must only be:

  • made as a result of a Mental Capacity Assessment
  • recorded in line with guidance
  • in the best interest of the person you are referring

There are 2 types of authorisation, standard and urgent. Managing authorities make these requests.

Standard authorisation request

Use this when the person will be deprived of liberty in the next 28 days. This is for:

  • the person is not subject to new or additional restrictions
  • criteria for an urgent authorisation is not met

It is made by the hospital or care home where the person will be residing when the standard authorisation comes into force.

Urgent authorisation request

This is needed when the person is currently being deprived of liberty or the need cannot wait.

This authorisation is usually made by the hospital or care home and is valid for up to 7 days with 7 days extension when required.

Make an authorisation request

People not living in care homes or hospitals

DoLS provisions do not apply for people not living in a care home or hospital. In these cases, deprivation can only be authorised by a court. Here you should seek advice from commissioner of the care or support they receive. This might include a local authority or the NHS.

Contact the DoLS team

We can offer general advice on the DoLS.

  • Address: Quadrant Court, Third Floor, 35 Guildford Road, Woking GU22 7QQ
  • Telephone: 01483 517 644
  • Email:

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