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Government delays implementation date of new Liberty Protection Safeguards Scheme

On 16 July 2020, Helen Whatley, Minister of State for Care announced that there would be a delay in the new Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) Scheme coming into force.

The LPS is a new system introduced under the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019, which will replace the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).  The purpose of the LPS is to authorise the deprivation of liberty to allow for the provision of care or treatment to an individual who lacks the capacity to consent to their arrangements in England and Wales.  The LPS will replace a system that, many consider, has become overly bureaucratic and complicated.

The LPS was initially due to come into force on 1 October 2020.  This has been delayed until April 2022, although some provisions covering new roles and trainings are likely to come into force prior to this, to allow for a consultation period on the draft regulations and Codes of Practice for the LPS.

The Government has confirmed that the consultation process will be open for 12 weeks, following which the updated codes and regulations will be scrutinised in Parliament. Once the final version of the LPS Code of Practice has been published, the health and social care sector will have a further six months in which to prepare for the new system.

The Government has also confirmed that for people who have existing authorisation in place under the current DoLS regime, transitional arrangements will be put in place when the new system comes in force.  However, it is thought that these people will remain under the existing authorisation until it expires.

 

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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