Goodbye Dols – Hello LPS

After months of debate and amendments, the House of Lords and the Commons agreed a final version of the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill on the 24th April. Soon to receive Royal Assent the new model of Liberty Protection Safeguards will come into effect in spring 2020. The new model will sit alongside DoLs during an implementation stage expected to last for a year.

The Government is set to draft a new series of regulations and produce a new code of practice setting out how the LPS will work. The new code of practice will be subject of a consultation.

The Governments initial proposals for LPS, widely criticised by many charities and care organisations, have been amended but not enough to allay the fears of many groups. Chief Executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) said:

People are currently being deprived of their liberty in health and social care services without the correct authorisations in place. That is plain wrong and should be resolved by funding the existing system to work properly until acceptable new measures can be introduced. Whilst government has driven through legislation to save money we remain committed to all efforts that uphold human rights safeguards.”

VODG fear that the legislation will “dilute existing human rights safeguards and give undue power and responsibility to organisations supporting older and disabled people”. They go on to add that the bill ” includes additional financial costs being passed onto independent and voluntary sector providers with no comparable diversion of funding away from local authorities”.

Since the initial proposals made by the government, their stance has softened somewhat. Local Authorities will now be given the option of carrying out assessments or allowing them to be carried out at the Care Home, another change made to the bill is that Care Home Managers cannot commission someone with a “prescribed connection” to the home. It is hoped that this will end any potential conflicts of interest. Approved Mental Capacity Professionals (AMCPs) will see their role increased in a response to those concerns around protection of the most vulnerable members of society.

Read more about the changes on Community Care