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Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Standards

Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) Information and Support

What is the Mental Capacity Act 2005?

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) is a law about understanding and making decisions for others when they cannot make some decisions for themselves, this is called lacking capacity.

The Act applies to adults over the age of 18 in England and Wales.  The Act ensures all decisions made on your behalf, when you lack mental capacity, are made in your best interest.

Useful Links: -

Mental Capacity Act: making decisions - GOV.UK (

Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and DoLS | SCIE

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) Information and Support

Deprivation of Liberty (DOLS)

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) is part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and is designed to protect someone's rights if they are deprived of their liberty in a hospital or care home and they lack mental capacity to consent to being there.  There may be a situation where certain practises or pieces of equipment are put in place to protect the patient or resident from harm, this could be seen as a restriction.  It is the responsibility of the local authority and local health board to ensure these remain in the persons best interest and is the least restrictive option.

Who can be deprived of their liberty?

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are for:

  • People living in England or Wales,
  • People who are 18 years old or older.
  • People who have a mental disorder such as dementia or a learning disability causing them to lack mental capacity to make a decision relating to their care and treatment.

What happens if you are being deprived of your liberty?

If you or someone you know are being deprived of their liberty, it is the responsibility of the local authority or local health board to ensure it is appropriate and proportionate.

If you require and further information or wish to discuss anything with regards deprivation of liberty safeguards, please contact the DOLS Team within Powys County Council on:

Useful links

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (

Age Cymru

Welsh Government- Mental Capacity Act: deprivation of liberty guidance and forms

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) at a glance | SCIE