Mental capacity and deprivation of liberty safeguards

Deprivation of liberty within care homes and hospitals

BSL Support

If a care home or hospital think that someone is being cared for in a way that deprives them of their liberty, they have to apply to the council for the deprivation of liberty to be legally authorised.

Newham Council is responsible for arranging for the person to have a number of assessments before deciding whether deprivation of liberty authorisation is appropriate.

Application for deprivation of liberty authorisation

When a Managing Authority (care home or hospital) completes a request for an authorisation for a deprivation of liberty, they:

  • Must believe that it is necessary to deprive a person of their liberty in order to provide them with appropriate care and treatment
  • Should complete a request for an authorisation for a Deprivation of Liberty using Form 1 - Request for Standard and Urgent Authorisation (Word)
  • Send the completed request to the Supervisory Body. For people originating their residency in Newham, or in placements funded by London Borough of Newham this is the Deprivation of Liberty Team.
  • Send a copy of a current care plan of the relevant person to

When the application is received, the Team Manager (MCA/DoLS) will arrange for a series of assessments to decide if it is right to deprive the person of their liberty.

The care home or hospital will then receive an outcome from the Supervisory body.


These will be carried out by two independent assessors; A Mental Health Assessor and a Best Interests Assesor.

The Best Interests Assessor can be a:

  • Social worker
  • Nurse
  • An occupational therapist or psychologist.

The Best Interests' Assessor will be finding out whether:

  • The care or treatment is a deprivation of liberty
  • In the person's best interests and necessary to prevent harm to them.

Role of the Best Interests' Assessor is independent from any planning or decision-making about the person's care or treatment.

Assessors will consult:

  • Relatives and other people close to the person
  • Involve a special advocate in some cases.

The deprivation of liberty can only be authorised for a limited time. The Managing Authority will require to reapply to the Supervisory Body if further Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards will need to be considered.

A person’s rights under a deprivation of Liberty Safeguards authorisation

The person whose freedom has been taken away will always have a representative to speak on their behalf. This could be a family member, friend or someone trained to do this as a paid professional.

They also have a right to ask for a review from the Supervisory Body, or to appeal the authorisation by asking a Court of Protection judge to look at their case.

What happens when a deprivation of liberty authorisation is granted?

Not every assessment process will result in an authorisation.

If it does, we will appointment a representative to support the person and look after their interests.

The care home or hospital will need to provide the representative with information about the person's care and treatment.

They must make regular checks to see if the person still needs to be deprived of their liberty. 

We will have to carry out a review if there has been a change in the person's situation that requires deprivation of liberty authorisation to be:

  • Altered
  • Temporarily suspended or
  • Terminated altogether.

What happens if a request for an authorisation is turned down?

If we turn down an authorisation request, the care home or hospital must not deprive the person of their liberty. They will need to take alternative steps and will be advised about this.

Challenge unlawful deprivation of Liberty

If you believe that someone in a care home or hospital is being deprived of their liberty without authorisation, you must inform the hospital or care home about your concern and ask for an assessment.

If you have contacted the care home or hospital and did not get a satisfactory response, you may contact the Deprivation of Liberty Team.

Requesting a deprivation of liberty authorisation to be reviewed

If you are currently subject to a deprivation of liberty authorisation and wish to have it reviewed, please contact us or the care home manager who will request a review on your behalf.

You can apply to the court of protection to appeal against the deprivation of liberty authorisation.

For further information email