In recent years, the Courts have recognised the growing number of areas to which Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DoLS) should apply, with the result being that Community Orders have been added to the DoLS process. Yet still there has been gaps where people have not had capacity to consent to their placement and care, yet not had an authorisation requested or considered.
This has been one of the many factors taken into account with the development of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), which was passed into Law 2019 following a published government amendment to the Mental Capacity Act. The new LPS will cover not only the wide range of care homes (including privately owned), but also NHS and private hospitals, education facilities, supported living, shared lives and in some cases, people’s own homes.
The impact of this change will take time to process across the health and care sectors, just as it did when DoLS came into force previously.
From my own experience, I have found that while some supported living and education facilities have service users who are presently under an authorisation, this is by no means a common occurrence. Indeed, many staff working in these areas will not have had any previous experience dealing with what was formerly DoLS and will soon become LPS.
It is therefore really important that managers and professionals take the time to research, train and prepare for the upcoming changes. In particular, staff should ensure they are familiar with the core principles of the Mental Capacity Act, and have a working understanding of what, when and how to apply for LPS before it comes into force.
There are a wide range of resources found on our pages, including links to external resources, as well as options of training and consultancy to support all areas of the health and care sectors. If you have any questions at all, please do get in touch. We are more than happy to help.