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Changing from Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards to Liberty Protection Safeguards – It’s time to get ready.

We take our freedom for granted, but sometimes we and those around us need protection when we can no longer make decisions in the best interests of our health, wellbeing and safety.

Improving duty of care

In the next few months we will begin to move away from Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and introduce its replacement – Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS).

LPS is a scheme set up by an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005. It’s good to remind ourselves why we have these provisions under the MCA in the first place.

Under law, you can deprive someone of their liberty. This is in certain circumstances, when authorised by health and care professionals, in consultation with a person’s family and/or advocates and when you agree that the person lacks capacity to make decisions in their best interests.

We never want to deprive people of their liberty, as the whole point is to empower people and to promote independence. But sometimes, it might need to be done, and it’s a big responsibility for those who have to administer it.

New Name - Same Commitment to Protect

DoLS has always ensured people who cannot consent to their care arrangements where care is provided are protected if those arrangements deprive them of their liberty.

LPS has the same goals, but with some adjustments to make the system run a lot smoother.

* It is worth mentioning that DoLS will run alongside LPS for a year after implementation to ease the transition of existing cases.

Here are three significant features of LPS:

  1. They still apply to 16 year olds and upwards and needs to be understood and followed by children’s services as well
  2. LPS have to be authorised in advance by a responsible body, i.e. hospital manager, a clinical commissioning group or the local authority in cases of people living at home.
  3. In order for the responsible body to authorise and deprive a person of their liberties it needs to be very clear that the person does lack the capacity to consent to their care arrangements. In such a case that depriving someone of their liberty are necessary to prevent harm they need to be in proportion to the likelihood and seriousness of such harm happening. In other words, the least restrictive option to promote independence.

Whichever system is in place, the legislation provides safeguards once deprivation is authorised.

Safeguarding At All Times

These safeguards will include regular reviews by the responsible body and the right to an appropriate person or an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) to represent a person and to protect their interests.

The change to legislation also widens the scope to treat people, and deprive them of their liberty, in a medical emergency, without gaining prior authorisation.

It’s important to state that the five principles of the MCA 2005 remain in place:

  1. Presumption of capacity
  2. Support to make a decision
  3. Ability to make unwise decisions
  4. Best Interest
  5. Least Restrictive

The changes are coming, so be prepared and keep yourself updated.

If you would like more help or guidance, we have a number of options to help:

  • Book onto one of our courses dedicated to the MCA and changes from DoLS to LPS – these can be at your place of work or take place at our training centre
  • Book a day or session with one of our consultants to ensure your organisation is compliant

You contact and enquire in the following ways:

DJD Consultants successfully support clients in the health and social care sector and have a wealth of knowledge and experience. Our team consists of highly qualified professional care consultants who have all worked in the industry for over 20 years. They have a proven track record in raising standards to meet CQC requirements. We have achieved QIF (Quality Improvement Framework) and QIF+ for care homes. We are accredited trainers in health and social care. Through positive change we have helped organisations improve their occupancy, reduce costs and increase their profitability.