- Liberty Protection Safeguards - What's Happening?
Liberty Protection Safeguards - What's Happening?
This page was last updated on 6th November 2023.
The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 paved the way for the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) to be replaced with a brand new scheme called the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS).
After much to-ing and fro-ing, the Government announced on 5th April 2023 that the implementation of the LPS will be delayed "beyond the life of this Parliament".
There has to be a General Election before 28th January 2025, although many people expect it to be held during 2024. Whether the LPS are introduced depends very much on what the incoming Government wants to do after that election.
If the Conservatives win the election they could in theory resurrect the LPS. But given the lengthy delays since 2019, is that likely? There may also be concerns about the cost of implementation at a time of squeezes on public spending.
If Labour, or a Labour-led coalition wins the election, they would have to decide what to do. Labour voted against the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill in 2019 on the grounds that it was significantly different from what the Law Commission had originally proposed in 2017, and that there hadn't been enough scrutiny of those changes. An incoming Labour Government will undoubtedly have its own legislative priorities, so it seems very unlikely that they would make time, at least in the early years, to reform the DoLS/LPS situation.
The consensus of opinion, therefore, is that for better or worse we are stuck with the existing system of DoLS and court authorised deprivations of liberty for the foreseeable future.
Which means of course that you may want to refresh your employees' knowledge of DoLS and court authorised deprivations of liberty, which might, understandably, have taken a back seat over the past few years in anticipation of their being replaced. So please get in touch if you'd like to talk to us about this.
Various articles about, and responses to, the delay
- Click here for the full text of the Government's announcement of 5th April 2023
- Click here for an article by the lawyer Tim Spencer-Lane entitled "Deprivation of liberty and the Mental Capacity Act - the way forward"
- Click here for a video presentation from the lawyer Alex Ruck Keene entitled "LPS on the Shelf - what to do now"
- Click here for the response of the Welsh Government to the delay. Health and social care policy is devolved to the Welsh Government, so in principle they could decide to press ahead with the LPS, even if England does not ...
- Click here for a response to the delay from Voiceability, which provides advocacy services
- Click here for an article in "Community Care" by Lorraine Currie, a DoLS/LPS expert, on making the best of DoLS now that LPS has been delayed
- Click here to read the response from BASW, the British Association of Social Workers
- In June 2023 the Government responded to concerns expressed about the delay by the Joint Committee on Human Rights
We will continue to update this page as and when necessary, so please bookmark it and keep an eye on it .... and if you have any suggestions for something to add to it please drop us a line.