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Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: Towards Liberty Protection Safeguards: Implications of the Law Commission Report & 2018 Government Response

Monday 24 September 2018
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: Towards Liberty Protection Safeguards: Implications of the Law Commission Report & 2018 Government Response
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Select Committees of both Houses of Parliament have criticised the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and called for the system to be reviewed. In addition, the Supreme Court’s judgment in the case of Cheshire West has led to a 10 fold increase in DoLS applications.” Department of Health April 2018

“This Government is committed to take action to reform mental health, and transform care for people with learning difficulties and / or autism. Taking action to reform the current DoLS regime is an important contribution towards achieving these aims and providing greater protection for some of the most vulnerable people in our society…. We have set out in detail our provisional view of each individual proposal in our response, and we broadly agree with the Liberty Protection Safeguards model.” Final Government Response to the Law Commission's review of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and Mental Capacity, March 2018

On 14th March 2018, the Government published its response to the Law Commission’s Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty report. The Government “agree in principle that the current DoLS system should be replaced as a matter of pressing urgency,” and that it will legislate in due course. The Government has stated that it will “need to consider carefully the detail of these proposals carefully and ensure that the design of the new system fits with the conditions of the sector, taking into account the future direction of health and social care.”​

This conference, developed and produced in association with Alex Ruck Keene Barrister, 39 Essex Chambers & Former Consultant, Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Project, The Law Commission will update delegates on the implications of the Law Commission Report, and 2018 Government response and the practicalities of moving towards Liberty Protection Safeguards in your service.

“We continue to see variation in the practical application of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) with uneven use across the health and social care sector – this can lead to people being at risk of having their rights and liberty restricted without a lawful process” Care Quality Commission 2017

The Law Commission has recommended replacing the law with a new scheme, called the Liberty Protection Safeguards. This would mean:

• enhanced rights to advocacy and periodic checks on the care or treatment arrangements for those most in need

• greater prominence given to issues of the person’s human rights, and of whether a deprivation of their liberty is necessary and proportionate, at the stage at which arrangements are being devised

• extending protections to all care settings such as supported living and domestic settings –therefore removing the need for costly and impractical applications to the Court of Protection

• widening the scope to cover 16 and 17 year olds and planned moves between settings

• cutting unnecessary duplication by taking into account previous assessments, enabling authorisations to cover more than one setting and allowing renewals for those with long-term conditions

• extending who is responsible for giving authorisations from councils to the NHS if in a hospital or NHS health care setting

• a simplified version of the best interests assessment which emphasises that, in all cases, arrangements must be necessary and proportionate before they can be authorised.

 

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