Slough Safeguarding Adults Partnership

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) in conjunction with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 were introduced in 2009 to provide legal protection for vulnerable people who are or may become deprived of their liberty in their best interests.

The safeguards apply to people aged 18 or over in hospitals and care homes throughout England and Wales who have a mental disorder and lack capacity to consent to care or treatment. Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards does not apply to people who are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a deprivation of liberty. In each case, the following factors would need to be considered:

  • Was restraint (including sedation) used to admit the person to an institution?
  • What level of control do staff exercise over the care and movement of a person?
  • What level of support does the person need from staff?
  • Has a decision been made to not allow the person into the care of others or to live elsewhere?
  • Have carers / next of kin requested for the person to be discharged into their care and this request has been rejected?
  • Is the person able to have access to their friends / family / carers?
  • Is the person under continuous supervision from staff?

Hospitals and care homes have a duty to identify anyone who could be at risk of a deprivation of liberty.

How to apply for a deprivation of liberty authorisation:

Slough Borough Council has one single point of entry for receiving all requests for a deprivation of liberty authorisation. The safeguarding team will co-ordinate all requests.

Once the managing authority (care home or hospital) has determined if an urgent or standard authorisation is required, they must complete the relevant form and contact the DoLS administrator:

  • Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, call 01753 690942 
  • email
  • fax 01753 690420

Useful guides:


Useful Links

If you are worried about an adult at risk of abuse or neglect

Call 01753 475111 or email

Safeguarding Training video

The Safeguarding Partnership has produced a video about Safeguarding basics during COVID-19.  Click on this Link to access.

National helplines

Samaritans: 116 123
Domestic Violence Hotline: 0808 2000 247
Mind: 0300 123 3393
Age UK: 0800 169 6565

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Video for those volunteering in Slough on THIS LINK

Video for those volunteering and new to safeguarding on THIS LINK