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Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: Annual Monitoring Report for Health and Social Care 2016-17

A joint report between ourselves and Care Inspectorate Wales.

This is the eighth annual monitoring report on the operations of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) in Wales.

What is a deprivation of liberty?

A deprivation of liberty is:

  • when a person is under continuous or complete supervision and control, and
  • is not free to leave, and
  • lacks capacity to consent to these arrangements

What are the Safeguards?

The Safeguards exist to empower and protect any individual with mental disorder, where there is doubt about their mental capacity, to make informed decisions about their care when they are hospital patients, or residents in a care home.


The ongoing inconsistencies of applications and authorisations across Wales offer little reassurance that the liberty of vulnerable individuals is being reliably safeguarded across Wales. 

A lack of up-to-date national guidance and an inconsistent response by supervisory bodies may be leading to inappropriate or unnecessary applications by managing authorities, or a failure to identify when an application is required.