Deprivation of Liberty

What is Deprivation of Liberty?

Some people in hospital or living in care homes lack capacity to make certain decisions about their care and it may be necessary to make ‘best interests’ decisions on their behalf. The Mental Capacity Act (2005) provides a legal framework and the code of practice offers statutory guidance on how these decisions should be made.

Occasionally however, a hospital or care home (known as managing authorities), need to restrict a person’s freedom and choices so severely that it could be considered a ‘deprivation of their liberty’ under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) provide a process for assessing the person’s needs and authorising deprivation of liberty if this is necessary and in their best interests. It also provides rights of appeal and reviews in line with European law.

Find out more about Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards on the Alzheimer's Society website.

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Contact details

Bradford and Airedale DoLS helpline for hospitals and care homes

The DoLS helpline telephone number is 01274 434672.

You can also direct queries to the following email addresses: or