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Deprivation of Libery Safeguards Advocacy Service

Your right to an advocate under the Deprivation of Liberty (DoLS) Safeguards

Sometimes a hospital or care home might feel that a vulnerable person (who lacks capacity under the Mental Capacity Act 2005) needs to be restricted in order to provide treatment or care which is necessary to protect them from harm. This is known as ‘deprivation of liberty’.

DoLS safeguards exist to provide a legal framework for people who find themselves in this situation and to ensure that they have access to independent advocacy to support and represent them through the assessment process and safeguard their rights.

Specialist advocates known as a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (DoLS IMCA), work with people who have been deprived of their liberty. A DoLS IMCA is independent of hospitals, care homes and funding bodies.

Authorisation for depriving someone of their liberty

In order to deprive someone of their liberty, the hospital or care home must apply for an authorisation which (if approved) will only be granted for a certain amount of time.

During the period of  authorisation the person, or the person’s representative, or both are entitled to help and support from a DoLS IMCA.

Find out more about how a DoLS IMCA could help you.

Find out how our services have helped other people.

To find out if we provide DoLS in your area, select your Local Authority Area from the drop down list above.

To contact your local seAp office click here.

This service is provided by seAp in the following local authority areas:

  • Bracknell Forest
  • Cornwall
  • Isles of Scilly
  • Kent
  • London Borough of Sutton
  • Medway
  • Plymouth