The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) published fact sheets on the Liberty Protection Safeguards on 11 June 2021.

The Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) are still scheduled to be implemented in the spring of 2022, replacing the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. The changes were introduced by the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019. However, with less than a year to go and despite the plan to publish the draft Code of Practice and draft Regulations in the spring of 2021, these documents have not yet been published and there is no news as to when that will happen at the time of writing. The prospect of a further delay to implementation is becoming increasingly likely.

What’s new?

The fact sheets were published on 11 June 2021. Whilst they tell us little new about the process they do set out a summary of various aspects of the LPS regime and the roles of those involved. The publications can be found here and include:

  • Liberty Protection Safeguards: what they are
  • Liberty Protection Safeguards: overview of the process
  • Liberty Protection Safeguards: settings and Responsible Bodies
  • Liberty Protection Safeguards: criteria for authorisation
  • Liberty Protection Safeguards: the approved mental capacity professional role
  • Liberty Protection Safeguards: deprivation of liberty and authorisation of steps necessary for life-sustaining treatment or vital acts (section 4b)
  • Liberty Protection Safeguards: authorisations, renewals and reviews
  • Liberty Protection Safeguards: the right to challenge an authorisation in court

What can you do now?

The key issues for any organisation to be getting on with now are:

  • Training your staff on the fundamentals of the Mental Capacity Act
  • Ensuring your personnel can identify a derivation of liberty and know who to escalate concerns
  • Ensuring current services users who are deprived of their liberty have an appropriate DoLS authorisation in place now
  • Assess how may service users will be affected by the changes in the law
  • Assess how the changes in the law will affect your organisation
  • Plan what personnel and procedures you need to start putting in place now in order to prepare for LPS
  • Liaise with the local authority, other commissioners and service providers to ensure you planning is as advanced as possible.

How Capsticks can help

If you would like training for your organisation or support for your teams do get on touch as we would be pleased to help. We can also assist with any backlogs of patients with our range of DoLS fixed fee services. Capsticks’ free webinar on the LPS can be found here in which we deal with the issues in more detail. We have scheduled more free webinars for the autumn and should the draft Code and draft regulations appear sooner, we will be sending out further.

If you have any queries around what's discussed in this article, and the impact on your organisation, please speak to Adam Hartrick, Francis Lyons or Tracey Lucas to find out more about how Capsticks can help.