Liberty Protection Safeguards – an update
As contained in the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 (yet to come into force), the Liberty Protection Safeguards (“LPS”) are due to replace the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
LPS will provide a new framework for the protection of those aged 16 and over, in any setting who need to be deprived of their liberty, to ensure they receive required treatment or care.
The LPS reform will impact:
- Independent sector providers – health and social care
- Local authorities
- CCG’s (ICS’s)
- Mental and Acute NHS Trusts
Guidance in August 2021 set out intentions for a three assessment approach, greater input from family members and additional scrutiny by Approved Mental Capacity Professionals where there are objections to proposals.
The proposed Code of Practice will be a single code, covering both updates to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (“MCA”) and the new LPS.
On 17 December 2021, the Government announced the start date of April 2022 could not be met. On 10 March 2022, the Government set out an overview timeline for next steps, confirming the implementation date will be set at the end of the consultation period.
On 17 March 2022, the LPS public consultation launched with publication of the draft Code of Practice and regulations. The public consultation will run until 07 July 2022.
Access the open consultation, Code of Practice and draft regulations here.
Responses are not anticipated until the winter. It will be at least another 6 months after the consultation closes before the new regime comes into effect.
Once implemented, CQC and Ofsted will monitor and report upon LPS (England only) and there will be parallel running of LPS and the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards for one year. Existing authorisations will continue until they expire.
It is essential to prepare now, by reviewing resources required, continuing to make applications under the current regime and focusing on good MCA practice. Everyone affected by the new LPS regime should read the draft Code of Practice and engage with public engagement events, to have your say, assess resources and prepare.