The Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) scheme introduces new statutory responsibilities for NHS Trusts and it aims to safeguard individuals who lack capacity to consent to their care arrangements if these amount to a deprivation of liberty.

While the LPS will replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) system, it is expected that the LPS will affect a larger number of people as it also includes young people aged 16+ and people in their own homes.

The Government has now launched a public consultation on the Code of Practice for LPS and MCA which will run until the 7 July 2022. The document being consulted upon can be accessed here.

The Trust has organised a number of events to present key changes and to collate a Trust-wide response to the consultation. You can find more information about events for Mersey Care staff here. For a calendar and leaflets for engagement events with service users and carers, please visit our website . Finally, if individuals would like to independently submit their responses directly  to the DHSC, this can be done by clicking on the “Respond Online” link at the bottom of the consultation page

The Liberty Protection Safeguards were introduced in the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 and will replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) system.

The Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) will provide protection for people aged 16 and above who are or who need to be deprived of their liberty in order to enable their care or treatment and lack the mental capacity to consent to their arrangements.

The LPS scheme introduces new statutory responsibilities for NHS Trusts, as a consequence of which Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust will be required to act as a Responsible Body.  In other words, the Trust will become the authorising body in those cases when the arrangements are taking place mainly within a Mersey Care inpatient unit.

As an authorising body, Mersey Care will become responsible for assessing people for an LPS detention, issuing authorisations, scheduling reviews and involving family, carers, advocates, and Approved Mental Capacity Professionals, as required.

The Department of Health and Social Care has produced a number of informative factsheets that can be accessed here.

The implementation of this new legislation has been impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. While LPS was originally scheduled to be implemented from 1st October 2020, this date then moved forward to 1st April 2022. 

In December 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that the implementation of the LPS scheme has been delayed further but refrained from providing a new implementation date until the consultation period has ended. The timeline below shows the milestones that will lead to LPS implementation.

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A project team has been created within the Mental Health Law team to support the transition from DoLS to LPS across the organisation and work has already started to ensure LPS readiness, working with divisional leads to prepare for this important new legislation. Regular communications about the project’s developments are being shared via the News section of YourSpace.

To find out more, or for any LPS-related queries, please contact Aurora Piergiacomi at Aurora.Piergiacomi@merseycare.nhs.uk – LPS Project Co-Ordinator.

The project team is currently organising a series of events for staff, service users, and carers to hear their views and collate a Trust-wide response to the consultation on the MCA/LPS code of practice and regulations. More information on the consultation and events will be published on this page soon.