The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, introduced as an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act in April 2009, aim to prevent decision making which deprives people of their liberty unless properly authorised.

Who do the Safeguards cover

People in registered care homes and in hospitals who have a mental disorder, and who lack the capacity to consent to the care provided, where that care may include the need to deprive people of their liberty. It does not apply to people detained under the Mental Health Act (1983).

Forms and guidance

Standard Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards forms and guidance documents, to be used by the following, are available from the Department of Health website. 

  • Medical assessors (including doctors) and best interests assessors
  • Hospitals and care homes - are 'managing authorities', responsible for identifying when a deprivation of liberty is occurring within their own service provision and for making referrals to the designated 'supervisory body'. For those in hospital the supervisory body is usually the Primary Care Trust and for those in care homes it is the Local Authority. However in Bromley it has been agreed that the Local Authority will act on behalf of the Primary Care Trust and deal with all referrals. 

Completed forms should be returned to us; faxed versions are acceptable.

Families, friends or representatives

Any families, friends or staff members in touch with care homes or hospitals who believe that a person is being deprived of their liberty should inform the relevant managing authority, so that they can take the necessary actions. If the managing authority does not then promptly deal with the matter in a satisfactory way the concerned party can refer the issue to the relevant supervisory body, LB Bromley.

Explanatory leaflets in a range of formats are available.