Update on Implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards
We wish we had good news to tell you but the latest information is, at best, a mixed bag and if you got it from Santa you might be thinking about taking it back for a refund.
A letter dated 16 December 2021 from Helen Tabiner, Deputy Director, Service Quality, DHSC addressed to the LPS National Steering Group Members acknowledges that the aim of implementing LPS by April 2022 cannot be met. [Read the letter here: a link to the letter appears in this article from Alex Ruck-Keen on his Mental Capacity Law and Policy Blog].
Perhaps the only surprise in that element of the announcement is that it took so long to formally acknowledge the inevitable postponement.
What is more interesting, if equally frustrating, is that no alternative date for implementation is set out. The letter confirms good progress is being made towards consultation on the draft regulations and the draft Code of Practice. The consultation is likely to be launched early in 2022 and will run for 12 weeks. Given the expected detailed responses and the time needed for consideration it is thought to be “..premature to set a new implementation date or confirm any funding to support implementation..”. Those points will be considered again after the consultation.
So the good news is no desperate rush to train staff and implement a new system. The bad news is continued uncertainty and continued reliance on the “not fit for purpose” DOLS.
Given the further steps needed, seeing off, let us hope, the pandemic and the need to identify funding it may not be too pessimistic to suggest it could be another whole year before implementation.
What Hempsons will do
- We will be reviewing the Consultation and issuing commentary and webinars on the issues
- Once there is a degree of certainty about the LPS process we will offer further commentary and webinars/training on implementation.
Many of you reading this will be working over the Christmas and New year period and you have all come through a desperately hard two years for health and social care workers. All of us at Hempsons would like to thank all of you for your work and dedication and to wish you all the very best for 2022.
In the meantime, if you have any questions on LPS or continuing use of DOLS please contact the team.