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Mental Capacity and DoLS

Introducing the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. If you're looking for resources, then click on the tab on the left.


The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 came into force in 2007. It is designed to protect and restore power to those adults who may lack capacity to make certain decisions, due to the way their mind is affected by illness or disability, or the effects of drugs or alcohol.

The MCA also supports those who have capacity and choose to plan for their future.

The MCA applies to everyone working in health and other sectors who are involved in the support and treatment of people aged 16 and over who live in England and Wales, and who are unable to make all or some decisions for themselves.

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), which apply only in England and Wales, are an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The DoLS under the MCA allows restraint and restrictions that amount to a deprivation of liberty to be used in hospitals and care homes – but only if they are in a person’s best interests. To deprive a person of their liberty, care homes and hospitals must request standard authorisation from a local authority.

There are also occasions where a person may be deprived of their liberty in settings outside of care home and hospital settings. In these situations the appropriate funding authority (be it the Local Authority or CCG) will need to obtain authorisation from the Court of Protection.


Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the statutory requirements of the Mental Capacity Act/Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (MCA/DOLS) legislation remain the same. A one-stop supplementary guidance document has been compiled to support health and social care staff in complying with the legislation and specific guidance on decision making at end of life is also available here:

Supplementary Guidance: MCA-DOLS During Covid-19

Clinical Decision Making and the MCA during End of Life 

Free online learning

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG have produced a Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) online learning tool specifically for health professionals. This online resource is completely free and accredited by the Royal College of GPs and will help all healthcare professionals understand      

  • What the MCA is

  • What they need to know 

  • How it affects them

  • How it affects their patients

  • How to apply this to their practice

Free MCA/DoLS training is available for all health care professionals working in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 

To access this training contact

Or to discuss your training needs contact