The Welsh Government has expressed deep disappointment at the UK Government’s decision to “step away” from the introduction of the Liberty Protection Safeguards (the LPS) and the implementation of the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 (the 2019 Act).
In a letter which CHM understands was sent to stakeholders amid the publication at the Next Steps to Put People at the Heart of Care social care strategy, the UK Government has confirmed that the necessary legislation to implement the LPS will not be brought forward within this Parliament.
According to Hempsons solicitors, realistically, this means that LPS is not likely to be implemented (either in its current form or at all) until 2026 at the earliest.
Welsh Government believes that the right to liberty is a fundamental human right and it has pledged to continue to address some of the current challenges within the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. A spokesman said: “This will support the current application of DoLS, and strengthen the position that Wales will be in to transition to the LPS in the future.”
The Welsh Government has also pledged to continue LPS funding – based on the £8m pledged for 2022/23 – to support the management of mental capacity.
In information for care homes, Hempsons solicitors have said that the work undertaken to identify those requiring authorisation of a deprivation of liberty “will undoubtedly be of value moving forwards”.
They advise care home providers to:
- continue to take appropriate steps to authorise any deprivation of liberty utilising the current legal framework
- ensure that your organisation refreshes its knowledge of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the applicability and use of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and applications for court authorised deprivations of liberty
- revisit and refresh policies pertaining to the current framework which, understandably, may have previously been considered to be nearing “end of life”
Hempsons also posits that the Government still intends to publish a summary of responses to its consultation on the LPS, which closed in July 2022.