Applying for and obtaining a DoLS authorisation

The Supervisory Body is responsible for assessing and authorising a deprivation of liberty. The City of Doncaster Council acts as the Supervisory Body for its locality and has overall management of the DoLS process. The role involves considering requests for authorisations, commissioning assessments to be undertaken, and from all assessments determine if a deprivation of liberty is occurring and grants the authorisation.

To obtain an authorisation to deprive someone of their liberty, hospitals, care homes or nursing homes have to apply for an authorisation for any person who may come within the scope of being deprived of their liberty. These establishments making an application are known as Managing Authorities.

There are two types of authorisations: a standard and urgent. The legal framework requires managing authorities to request a standard authorisation from the Supervisory Body in advance of a deprivation of liberty commencing, where possible.

Where this is not possible, and the managing authority believes it is necessary to deprive someone of their liberty in their best interests before the standard authorisation process is completed, the managing authority must issue itself with an urgent authorisation which may last for a maximum of seven calendar days, by which time a standard authorisation must be in place.

Applications should be made using the Form 1- standard and urgent request, available to download on the right of this page, and sent to 

Once an application has been received and the Supervisory Body has confirmed the request for a standard authorisation should be pursued, it then follow an assessment process to ascertain whether the qualifying requirements of the deprivation of liberty safeguards are met.

What is the assessment process for a standard authorisation?

The assessment process involves the independent scrutiny of a person’s care, by specially trained assessors who make recommendations around whether a deprivation of liberty is occurring; and the duration the person requires the Safeguards for. They consider six qualifying requirements:

Age Assessment (confirm the person is aged 18 or over)

No Refusals Assessment (establish whether the authorisation would conflict with other existing authority for decision-making for that person i.e. the valid decision of a deputy)

Mental Capacity Assessment (establish whether the person lacks capacity to consent to being accommodated in the relevant hospital or care home for the purpose of being given care or treatment that may amount to a deprivation of liberty)

Mental Health Assessment (establish whether the person has a mental disorder or disability of mind)

Eligibility Assessment (confirm the person’s status or potential status under the Mental Health Act; they may need to be detained under an alternate legal framework (Mental Health Act) depending on their circumstances

Best Interests Assessment (establish whether a deprivation of liberty is occurring or going to occur, and if so; whether it is in the best interests of the person, necessary to prevent harm and a proportionate response to the likelihood of them otherwise suffering serious harm)

A Mental Health Assessor and a Best Interest Assessor complete the six assessments. These are different people who have been specially trained to undertake DoLS assessments, Doncaster does not directly employ all these individuals.

Mental health Assessors are doctors who work independently, or they are provided through an agency.

Doncaster Council directly employs most of the Best Interests Assessors and a small proportion is provided through an agency to help manage the volume of work.

All assessors working for or on behalf of Doncaster council is expected to maintain the same high standard of professional etiquette.   

An Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) may also be involved in the assessment process if the person does not have family or friends; or these are unable or unwilling to assist with the assessment process. The IMCA will provide a separate report of their findings to ensure that the person’s views and wishes are considered as part of the process.

If all the assessments conclude that the relevant person meets the requirements for authorisation, the Supervisory Body will grant a standard authorisation for the duration recommended by the Best Interest Assessor (this can be up to 12 months). The Supervisory Body cannot give a standard authorisation if any of the requirements are not fulfilled.

Other information you may find useful

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Last updated: 02 April 2024 07:08:52

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