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Reforming DoLS: liberty protection safeguards
  1. Elizabeth Jane Shortis1,
  2. Anna Jane Newton-Clarke1,
  3. Anish Verma1,
  4. Deborah Emma Allen2,
  5. Elizabeth Viola2,
  6. Neil H Metcalfe1
  1. 1Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  2. 2Hull York Medical School, Univeristy of York, York, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anish Verma, The University of Manchester Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health, Manchester M4 7LT, UK; anish.verma{at}


From April 2022, current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) will be replaced by Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS). This review article outlines key information about these changes for patients, carers and healthcare professionals, for whom a deprivation of liberty may be relevant.

Deprivation of liberty occurs within healthcare settings when someone’s freedoms are limited in order to meet their care needs and lack capacity to consent to these arrangements. DoLS, enacted in 2009, ensured that patients deprived of liberties in care settings have similar rights to patients held under the Mental Health Act 1983. However, DoLS have been extensively criticised and considered unfit for purpose, therefore are being replaced by LPS.

LPS intend to provide a more robust protection to a wider group of vulnerable people. This includes changes to patient age, transferability between a wider range of care settings, a reduced number of assessments for authorisation and less frequent reauthorisations.

  • LAW

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  • EJS and AJN-C are joint first authors.

  • AV, DEA and EV contributed equally.

  • Contributors EJS and AJN-C contributed equally to this paper as joint first authors through their original research into the topic. AV, DEA and EV contributed equally to this paper as joint second authors through their drafting of the article and critical appraisal of the research. NHM supervised the study and is responsible for the overall content as the guarantor.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.