Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

What is deprivation of liberty?

Liberty means being free to do the things you want to do and live where you want to live.

Deprivation of liberty means taking someone's freedom away.

A recent Supreme Court judgement decided that someone is deprived of their liberty if they are both 'under continuous supervision and control and not free to leave'.

When can someone be deprived of their liberty?

Someone else may think that they need to take your freedom away to give you the care or treatment you need. If you are able to make an informed choice about this, it is your right to say no. The only time when your informed choice might be over-ridden is if you need to be detained under the Mental Health Act.

Deprivation of liberty could take place anywhere - in a care home or hospital, but also in your own home.

If you are not able to make an informed choice, the law says that whoever is looking after you cannot take your freedom away without independent checks that this is the best thing for you.  This law is set out in the Mental Heath Act and the Mental Capacity Act.

While it is avoided wherever possible, sometimes there is no alternative but to deprive a person of their liberty because it is in their best interests.

What should you do if you feel a person is being deprived of their liberty? 

If you feel a person is being deprived of their liberty:

  • Discuss the issue with the hospital, care home or care provider. They may be able to change a person’s care or treatment to make sure the person is not being deprived of their liberty, or may be able to explain why a person is not actually deprived of their liberty.
  • Request that the Supervisory Body reviews the person to see whether they are being deprived of their liberty. This request can be by telephone, fax or email.

Who should you contact?

The supervisory body in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is Kingston Council.

All urgent and standard referrals during normal working hours and at weekends and bank holidays should be sent to Deprivation of Liberty Team at the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

Last Modified: 27/02/2020 09:15:38

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards