Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

Frequently Asked Questions

DoLS process

Q: Who can help me understand the DoLS process better?

A: Article 5 of the Human Rights Act 1998 states that 'everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his or her liberty [unless] in accordance with a procedure prescribed in law'.

The DoLS is the procedure in law that ensures people who lack mental capacity to consent to their care and treatment in a hospital or a care home setting are safe from harm and their liberty is protected as much as possible.

Find out more: Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) at a glance | SCIE.

You can also email Deprivation of Liberties Team to request for more information about DoLS or ask to speak to someone to discuss the process with you.

Q: Who can I notify if I am concerned about a safeguarding issue?

A: Contact Tower Hamlets Connect, to register an adult safeguarding concern.

DoLS and the person

Q: My relative/friend does not want to live in a care home, what are their rights?

A: You or your relative/friend may contact Tower Hamlets Connect, to ask for an annual review. This will mean everyone working with your relative will come together to discuss any concerns and next steps.

Q: My relative/friend is being restrained. Is this allowed?

A: Some people are living with behavioural support within their care plan and this maybe a planned intervention when someone is unwell. This may be a cause of concern for you. However, if this is not in line with their care plan and you are concerned, please contact Tower Hamlets Connect, to register an adult safeguarding concern.

Q: The doors of the care home/hospital are always locked and my relative/friend is not allowed out. Is that legal?

A: If a DoLS authorisation is in place, this may be in the best interests of your relative. The mechanical restriction in place makes sure your relative is safe and cannot leave unsupervised or get lost. However, if you feel the restrictions are too invasive, please contact the DoLS Team, or Tower Hamlets Connect.

Q: My relative/friend is being given medication in their food. Is this allowed?  

A: Some people are living with a specific medication plan and this maybe a planned intervention. However, if this is not in line with their care plan and you are concerned please contact DoLS Team, or Tower Hamlets Connect, to register your concerns.

Q: My relative/friend has dementia and is unable to communicate their needs. Why is there still a need to talk to them?

A: Even though someone may have a cognitive impairment, it is very important that they are the centre of the process and any interventions are person-centred. However, the DoLS assessor will contact all informal and formal carer givers to seek their views, experience and knowledge of the resident.

Q: My relative/friend does not speak English. What can be done by an English-speaking professional to involve them in an assessment?

A: The resident will always be provided an interpreter or BSL interpreter through out the assessment. This ensures the resident's views are expressed, and their wishes and feelings are taken into account at all times.

Reviewing the DoLS process

Q: What if the person o relative/friend does not agree with the assessment?

A: The person and their relative/friend will be given an opportunity to express your view within the assessment process. The representative for the person will also be provided an RPR Pack stating their rights to challenge the DoLS on behalf of the person and information about the court of protection. Alternately you can contact the DoLS Team, to ask for a review of the DoLS.

Q: How can a DoLS order be reviewed?

A: If you are a Relevant Person's Representative (RPR) of a person under DoLS, you can request a review at any time via telephone or putting it in writing, by contacting the DoLS Team.

Q: How can the DoLS assessment be challenged?

A: You have a right to challenge the DoLS process.

The Court of Protection (COP) is for people who lack mental capacity to make decisions for themselves about their health, and welfare in relation to the DoLS process. 

The person and their representative will need to petition the Court of Protection to make a decision about your appeal.

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