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Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Mental Capacity Act came into force on 1 October 2007. It aims to protect people who cannot make decisions for themselves for any reason. It provides clear guidelines for carers and professionals about who can take decisions in which situations.

The Act states that everyone should be treated as being able to make their own decisions, until it is shown that they are not. It also aims to enable people to make their own decisions for as long as they are capable of doing so.

A person's capacity to make a decision will be established at the time that a decision needs to be made. A lack of capacity could be because of mental health problems, dementia, a severe learning disability, a brain injury, a stroke or unconsciousness due to an anaesthetic or a sudden accident.

It also makes it a criminal offence of neglect or ill-treatment of a person who lacks capacity. An explanatory document is available to download from this page.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards have been introduced into the Mental Capacity Act 2005 by the Mental Health Act 2007.

The safeguards provide a framework for approving the deprivation of liberty for people who lack the capacity to consent to care or treatment in either a hospital or care home that, in their own best interests, can only be provided in circumstances that amount to a deprivation of liberty.

The legislation contains detailed requirements about when and how deprivation of liberty may be authorised. It provides for an assessment process that must be undertaken before deprivation of liberty may be authorised and detailed arrangements for renewing and challenging the authorisation of deprivation of liberty.

Managing Authorities

It is the responsibility of the managing authorities (care homes and hospitals) to request an authorisation from the supervisory bodies. If you need to refer to the council please do so using the fax/email below and attaching the correct forms.

Who to contact for more information

MCA-DOLs Administration Team
3rd Floor
67 Sutton New Road
PO Box 15152
B2 2AE

Sat nav postcode: B23 6QT (Opens in new window)

Phone: 0121 675 1684

Fax: 0121 675 1064

Email: mcadolsadmin@birmingham.gov.uk

For any queries you can contact the MCA DOLs Lead on

Phone: 0121 675 7106

Mobile: 07766 922125

Related pages

Birmingham Safeguarding Adults Board

Other websites

Department of Health