An update: Liberty Protection Safeguards

Progress on the new Liberty Protection Safeguards scheme (due to replace Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) was shared in the Department of Health and Social Care’s August 2022 LPS newsletter. The Department are considering the 650 plus responses to the LPS consultation which closed early in July 2022 – and they aim to update the sector “later” this year – we note there are only 13 weeks to go…

The sector will have to wait a little longer for clarity on what the final legislation and the code will look like. There is no confirmed implementation date at this stage either.

In the interim, it is vital that healthcare professionals uphold the human rights of those deprived of their liberty by continuing to follow the DoLS procedure. The current system of DoLS and the responsibilities and duties under it will remain the same when the new scheme is introduced, for 12 months until LPS come into force.

As a reminder, the 2021-22 Mental Capacity Act 2005 DoLS data published by NHS Digital indicates there was a ~5% increase of applications from 2020-21 but the average growth rate is slowing (it had been 14%). Other interesting statistics include:

  • The proportion of completed applications that were not granted was 56%. The main reason given was change of circumstances (65%).
  • 20% of standard applications were completed within 21 days with the average length of time being 153 days!

You can read the data here.  Although there is none relating to London Borough of Hackney or Warwickshire.

So for now, health and care professionals should continue to follow the current DoLS procedure if it is necessary to deprive a person of their liberty.

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