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The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards is an addendum to the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

To meet the criteria of the safeguards, all of the following must apply. The individual concerned must:

  • be cared for in a hospital or care home
  • be aged 18 or over
  • have a mental disorder, such as dementia or a learning disability and not be liable for detention under the Mental Health Act 1983
  • lack the capacity to consent to where their care is given
  • need to be deprived of their liberty in their best interests to protect them from harm.

The deprivation of a person’s liberty is a very serious matter. That is why the safeguards have been created: to ensure that any decision to deprive someone of their liberty is made following defined processes and in consultation with specific authorities.