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Deprivation of liberty / safeguarding

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 contains important provisions designed to ensure that vulnerable people, who are looked after in a hospital setting, residential care or supported living, are looked after in such a way that their inherent right to freedom from interference is not unreasonably interfered with.

These provisions are known as the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and apply to vulnerable people aged 18 or over who have a mental health condition (this includes dementia), who do not have the mental capacity (ability) to make decisions about their care or treatment.

Examples of what constitutes a deprivation of liberty:

  • a patient being restrained

  • medication being given against a person’s will

  • carers making all decisions including choices about  assessments, treatment and visitors


It is unlawful to carry out an action that will deprive someone of their liberty, without a formal authorisation from the local authority or relevant health board being in place.

At Moore Blatch we represent and support individuals, their relatives or carers who are concerned that a deprivation of liberty has occurred without all appropriate authorisations in place.

Download our factsheet for more information: 

Have an enquiry? Please contact Paula Barnes or phone 0808 231 6491.

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