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care and support

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

AddressWandsworth Supervisory Body,
The DOLS Office,
Wandsworth Town Hall,
Wandsworth High Street,
PostcodeSW18 2PU
DescriptionThe Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) provide protection for people who lack the mental capacity to make a decision for themselves about their care or treatment in hospitals or residential and nursing homes. These safeguards are part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They aim to protect people such as those with a more severe learning disability, older people with dementia and people with neurological conditions such as acquired brain injuries.

Depriving someone of their liberty is a very serious matter. What is considered a deprivation of liberty will depend on the individual circumstances. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards state that deprivation of liberty should be:

- avoided whenever possible
- authorised only in cases where it is in the person's best interests and is the only way to prevent harm
- for as short a time as possible
- only for a particular treatment or course of action

Challenging unlawful deprivation of liberty:

If you believe that your family member or friend is being deprived of their liberty unlawfully (that is, without the appropriate authorisation being in place), you must inform the hospital or care home immediately. If the hospital or care home does not take appropriate action you can contact the ‘supervisory body’. For most people in a hospital or care home in Wandsworth this will be the address above. You can also make contact by telephone or email.

Find out more about the Mental Capacity Act on the NHS Choices website.

Telephone number020 8871 8701
Further informationFax: 020 8871 7755

Record last updated: 12 October 2015