The Deprivation of Liberty safeguards are part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They aim to make sure adults in care homes, hospitals or supported living are looked after in a way that does not inappropriately restrict their freedom.
The safeguards should ensure that a care home, hospital or supported living arrangement only deprives someone of their liberty in a safe and correct way, and is only done when it is in the best interests of the person and there is no other way to look after them.
These safeguards protect the interests of extremely vulnerable people, and to:
- ensure they can be given the care they need
- prevent decisions that deprive vulnerable people of their rights
- provide safeguards for vulnerable people
- provide them with rights of challenge against unlawful detention
- avoid unnecessary bureaucracy.
Who it protects
The safeguards apply to anyone:
- aged 18 and over
- who are in hospitals, care homes or supported living
- who suffers from a mental disorder or impairment of the mind
- who do not have the mental capacity to make decisions about their care or treatment
- for whom deprivation of liberty is considered, after an independent assessment, to be necessary in their best interests to protect them from harm.
A deprivation of liberty safeguard cannot be used if a person has the mental capacity to make decisions, so the person's capacity will be assessed as part of the process. The safeguards do not apply when someone is detained ('sectioned') under the Mental Health Act 1983.
If a person is receiving care in supported living arranged by us, they are under continuous supervision and control and are not free to leave, and they do not have capacity to consent to these arrangements.
The Court of Protection must authorise the deprivation of liberty. An application to the Court of Protection will be made by the individual’s social worker, with support from the Deprivation of Liberty team.
Hospitals and care homes
If you feel a person is being deprived of their liberties, you may discuss the issues directly with the hospital or care home. The home or hospital will consider whether the care plan or treatment could be provided in a less restrictive manner. They can request an assessment to authorise a deprivation of liberty that is deemed to be necessary in order to protect the person and ensure their safety. The Deprivation of Liberty Team can also be contacted to discuss any concerns and offer guidance.
You may request by phone or in writing, that we review the person, to check if they are being deprived of their liberty.
The safeguards cover patients in hospitals, and people in care homes registered under The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2015, whether placed by the council or self funded.
If you would like to make a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards application, or to speak with us about Deprivation of Liberty safeguards, please contact Adult Early Help on 01733 747474 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.