This policy lays out the local processes for all Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust (The Trust) staff to carry out to meet the legal responsibility for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) legislation (2009). This policy will ensure that staff are aware of the processes that need to be carried out in order to ensure that we ensure compliance with the legislation and the decisions are based on the best interests of the patient.

DoLS needs to be embedded within the organisation, with staff having a full understanding of the DoLS principles. Staff must adhere closely to the principles of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) (2005) and the basic human rights of individuals to liberty. Any staff working in inpatient areas caring for or providing treatment for people with dementia, mental health issues, a learning disability, delirium or an acquired brain injury should be familiar with the DoLS application processes. Although the MCA applies to ages 16 and over, DoLS applies to people over the age of 18.



All substantive and temporary staff who have contractual obligations to the Trust must be familiar with the policy and where to get help and advice. The Policy also covers all those working in a voluntary capacity within the organisation. Agency and contracted staff are expected to familiarise themselves with this document and to ensure that their practice is in line with the Trust. Staff that are not directly employed by the Trust should have appropriate training from their employer and the Trust will seek reassurance from contractors to assure themselves of this.



3.1 The purpose of this policy is to ensure that there are clear and robust processes for staff to follow and identify and escalate potential DoLS requirements. DoLS was introduced in 2009 as an addition to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 following a legal challenge regarding a person being detained without access to appeal; with the argument rooted in protecting a person’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). DoLS are designed to provide a legal process that protects adults who lack mental capacity against decisions that unlawfully deprive them of their liberty.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Jane Mitchell / Sarah Hill
Ratified by: Safeguarding Committee
Date Ratified: November 2021
Date Issued: September 2023
Review Date: November 2024
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Jane Mitchell / Sarah Hill


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