The new Liberty Protection Safeguards: Government update with timetable for next steps

The Government has now set out details of the next steps to be taken, with timescales.

Overview

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 having received Royal Assent last month, the Government has now set out details of the next steps to be taken, with timescales, on the road to replacement of the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (‘DoLS’) with the new Liberty Protection Safeguards (‘LPS’) next year.

In detail

The Government’s commitments around the new LPS system are set out in a letter from Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care in the Department of Health & Social Care, dated 10 June 2019.

The primary legislation having received Royal Assent on 16 May 2019, the Government states that its intention is that the new LPS system will come into force on 1 October 2020, but this is subject to ongoing ‘implementation planning’ and the development of the Code of Practice and the necessary secondary legislation.

In this regard, the Government letter anticipates the final draft of the Code being laid before Parliament in spring 2020, and they hope to align this with the review of the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice. At the same time, they hope also to be able to lay the regulations before Parliament.

In addition to the work being done on the Code of Practice and the statutory instruments, the Government is shortly to publish materials which will assist those in the sector in preparing for the new system and is developing training both to support staff in the sector on the changes and to approve people to become Approved Mental Capacity Professionals.

In terms of the transitional arrangements for those currently authorised under the existing DoLS, the Government states that it will work with delivery partners and stakeholders, but that it expects those people to remain under their existing authorisations until they expire.

Conclusions and next steps

All those in the sector will be encouraged by this latest Government announcement, within one month of the Act receiving Royal Assent. With little more than a year to go until implementation of the new LPS system, preparations should now be underway by all those in the sector who will be affected. We will be issuing further updates around this planning work in due course.

For further information about Weightmans LLP or to discuss any of the issues in this update, please contact Morris Hill, Legal Director on 0151 242 7990 or morris.hill@weightmans.com or Ken Slade, Principal Associate on 0151 242 7953 or ken.slade@weightmans.com.  

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