Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards team is a citywide team, based at Alexandra House in Hulme.

The Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (MCA DOLS) provide protection for vulnerable people who are accommodated in hospitals or care homes in circumstances that amount to a deprivation of their liberty and who lack the capacity to consent to the care or treatment they need.

We are overseen by the Head of Safeguarding and Quality Assurance.

The DOLS team completes assessments for citizens who meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Are ordinary resident of Manchester
  • Are residing in Care Homes, Care Homes with Nursing, Independent Hospitals and Acute Hospitals (Managing Authorities)
  • Have been assessed as lacking mental capacity in relation to residing at the Managing Authority to receive care and treatment

Managing Authorities must make an application to the Supervisory Body in order to lawfully deprive someone of their liberty. The application must identify that the citizen has been assessed as lacking the mental capacity to consent to residing at the Managing Authority to receive care and treatment

Manchester City Council has the role of hosting the Supervisory Bodies on behalf of Manchester Local Authority and Manchester NHS, by authority of a Collaborative Agreement.

Following receipt of a DoLS application Manchester DoLS team will carry out a series of six assessments to determine whether the DoLS qualifying requirements are met.

The MCA DOLS provide that deprivation of liberty:

  • should be avoided wherever possible
  • should only be authorised in cases where it is in the relevant person’s best interests and the only way to keep them safe
  • should be for as short a time as possible, and
  • should be only for a particular treatment plan or course of action

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards does not cover Deprivation of Liberty in domestic settings; for guidance and forms relating to Deprivation of Liberty in a Domestic Setting, see our information about DIDs pages.

Dealing with high volumes of assessments

Due to the very high volume of DOLS Applications submitted to the Manchester Supervisory Body, the timescales for dealing with DOLS applications now often exceeds statutory requirements, however, the Supervisory Body continues to implement DOLS as per due process.

The issuing of Standard Authorisations from Manchester Supervisory Body therefore now reflects the national guidance supplied by ADASS (the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services), and as such, Manchester Supervisory Body advises –

  • Managing Authorities need to ensure that they have completed any supporting documentation such as mental capacity assessments, risk assessments and best interests decisions.
  • Where the lack of capacity is confirmed and formally assessed, Managing Authorities need to be reminded of the need to screen for the ‘acid test’ i.e. the person is under continuous supervision and control and is not free to leave.
  • ADASS continues to urge a measured and proportionate response to the judgement, and advises: risk – assess and prioritise where appropriate to determine those at highest risk have the earliest protection of the safeguards.
  • Managing Authorities are therefore requested to prioritise DOLS Applications where the person meets the ‘acid test’ and there is urgency or a change of circumstances for the person, however in cases where the person is living in ‘settled circumstances’ and not determined as at high risk, the person can be referred in line with their annual review.
  • Managing Authorities are also reminded that they must review care plans in partnership with the placing/funding authority to consider less restrictive options which may subject the person to unnecessary and intrusive interventions before DOLS authorisations are requested.
  • The Supervisory Body will issue the Form 5 (Standard Authorisation Granted) where appropriate with or ahead of other DOLS paperwork, in a format referring to the six assessments undertaken as above, to ensure Standard Authorisations are issued with minimum delay and to comply with due process, in line with ADASS guidance.


All care providers who need to request a DOL authorisation, request a review or action anything relating to an existing DOL authorisation should use one of the forms produced by the Association for Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

The DoLS team operating hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00am – 4:30pm.


Manchester DoLS Team
Alexandra House
133 Moss Lane East
M15 5GX

Telephone: 0161 219 2199


To make an Application for a Deprivation of Liberty or to request a Review, send the relevant completed form to the Contact Service for Social Care either by email, phone or fax:


Phone: 0161 234 5001

Fax: 0161 255 8266

Guidance relating to DOLS

Links to other resources