Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Liberty Protection Safeguards is replacing the former Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards scheme.

If a person does not have the mental capacity to consent to being in hospital or in a care home, then the  DoLS process must be followed.

Following the Cheshire West judgment, the acid test states a deprivation of liberty occurs when:

  1. the person cannot consent to being in hospital or care home for care and treatment
  2. the person is subject to ongoing supervision and control
  3. the person is not free to leave. This means that even if the person is not trying to leave, staff would stop them if they did try.

The Department of Health has clarified a number of issues which the Cheshire West judgement raised.

The DoLS process

If a person meets the acid test above, the managing authority (hospital or care home) must make a referral to the supervisory body (Salford City Council) in order to lawfully deprive a person of their liberty. Use the forms at the bottom of the page, which should be emailed to

We will then appoint an independent best interest assessor and an independent mental health assessor who between them will decide whether an authorisation is needed.

Part of the process will be to discuss the situation with the person concerned, their family and friends. If there are no family or friends, we will appoint an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate to support the person.

If anyone disagrees with the process, they can talk to the assessor or to the safeguarding review and extra care team. As this is complex, we also have advocacy organisations that can help you.

If all the assessments are met, we must give an authorisation. This can be for up to a year.

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