Following a number of well-documented delays, it has been announced that the implementation of Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) will be further delayed beyond the life of this Parliament, meaning we are unlikely to see LPS introduced until at least 2025.
Details of the delay were shared with stakeholders in an email from the Department of Health and Social Care, sent on 5th April 2023:
Dear LPS stakeholders,
Update on implementation of the LPS
Yesterday you will have seen the Government has set out its plans for adult social care reform in its publication of the Next steps to put People at the Heart of Care.
To enable us to focus on these critical priorities, the Government has taken the difficult decision to delay the implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards beyond the life of this Parliament. This was one of a number of decisions taken as part of prioritising work on social care. More detail can be found on plans to reform and improve adult social care here.
We recognise that this delay will be disappointing news for the people and organisations who have worked closely with us on the development of the LPS since the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act was introduced in 2019. We would like to thank everyone who engaged with us on the development of the policy and during the consultation on the LPS. The detailed feedback we received has been invaluable.
During the LPS consultation, we received detailed feedback from stakeholders across the health and social care, voluntary and legal sectors, and the people affected by it. Many of those who responded to the consultation expressed support for the LPS and agreed that there is a need for a more streamlined and person-centred system. Though some responses to the consultation also suggested changes to the proposals in a number of ways which have been considered during the consultation analysis phase.
Although implementation of LPS has been delayed at this time, we plan to publish a summary of responses to the consultation in due course, which will set out further information about the feedback we received at consultation. We will update you via the LPS newsletter when the summary of responses is published.
In the meantime, the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards remain an important system for authorising deprivations of liberty, and it is vital that health and social care providers continue to make applications in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to ensure that the rights of those who may lack the relevant capacity are protected.
Changes to the LPS team
In line with the decision not to move forward with the LPS at this time, some members of the LPS team will begin moving to other areas of the Department in the coming weeks. In the short term, Laura Karan and Martin Teff will remain the key points of contact for the LPS and the DoLS. We will provide further updates on the future of the LPS team as soon as practicable.
As always, please do get in touch with us at email@example.com with any queries or comments.
LPS team at DHSCEmail from the DHSC sent to Mental Capacity Ltd on 5th April 2023
As it stands, the latest the current UK Government can call a General Election is 17th December 2024. It therefore seems unlikely that we will see any sort of movement on LPS implementation until 2025 at the earliest.
We will of course share further updates from the DHSC as and when we receive them.