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 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.
While LPS was originally scheduled to be implemented from 1October 2020, the implementation of this new legislation had been impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the date was moved forward to 1st April 2022.
In December 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced that the implementation of the LPS scheme has been delayed further but refrained from providing a new implementation date.
The timeline below shows the milestones that will lead to LPS Implementation
The timeline below shows the milestones that will lead to LPS Implementation.
Update – September 2023
On 4 April 2023, the UK Government announced a further delay to the implementation of the LPS beyond the life of the current Parliament and we are still waiting for the Government response to the consultation on the proposed changes to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Code of Practice.
As a result of this, we are reviewing our current processes and timeline trajectory and will provide a more detailed update in due course concerning the position of MCFT. In the meantime, we will continue with our current strategic targets and processes for a project completion date of October 2023.
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.
Update – September 2023
In addition to the above, we will be focusing on strengthening MCA understanding and application across our Trust, to ensure all staff who will be impacted by the implementation of LPS, will have the support and training they need within their current roles.
Yes – LPS training will be available to all colleagues prior to implementation. More information about this will be shared in the upcoming months. In the meantime, if you wish to arrange a training session on the Mental Capacity Act (including topics such as Consent, Assessing Capacity, DoLS etc.), please contact Nicola