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Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: Towards Liberty Protection Safeguards: Implications of the 2017 Law Commission Report

Friday 20 April 2018
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: Towards Liberty Protection Safeguards: Implications of the 2017 Law Commission Report

This event has now past, but there may well be news on the event including presentations and quotes from the day at our News pages here, a full list of our forthcoming events is available here.

Follow this conference on Twitter #DoLS

“The Law Commission recommends that DoLS are repealed as a matter of urgency, and are replaced by a new scheme called the Liberty Protection Safeguards. This intends to streamline the process for assessing whether a deprivation of liberty is necessary, and obtaining the required authorisation. The Liberty Protection Safeguards would also authorise particular arrangements and conditions for a person’s care or treatment, rather than simply authorising a deprivation of liberty... Under the new scheme, when there is a potential deprivation of liberty, the responsible body – the NHS body or local authority - arranges three assessments: a capacity assessment, a medical assessment, and a ‘necessary and proportionate’ assessment. They must also consult with friends and family of the relevant person. Each case is verified by an “independent reviewer”, and those where the placement are contrary to the person’s wishes are referred to an Approved Mental Capacity Profession (AMCP).” House of Commons Briefing Paper, 2nd October 2017

“This Government is committed to take action to reform mental health and transforming care for people with conditions such as dementia, learning difficulties and/or autism. Taking action to reform the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards regime is an important contribution towards achieving these aims and providing greater protection for some of the most vulnerable people in our society…We welcome the Law Commission report and the detailed recommendations to establish a new system of Liberty Protection Safeguards. We want in place a regime that will protect peoples’ liberty and serve three purposes: to improve the quality of care, to ensure access to safeguards is improved and to deliver value for money.” Jackie Doyle Price MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Care and Mental Health, Department of Health October 2017

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 March 2017 Law Commission Report and the practicalities of moving towards Liberty Protection Safeguards in your service.

This conference will provide you with the option of 2 streams specifically designed to focused on your area of expertise with Stream A focusing on Hospitals and Stream B focusing on Supervisory Bodies.

“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 10th October 2017

The Law Commission is recommending 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.

Law Commissioner Nicolas Paines QC said: “The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards were designed at a time when considerably fewer people were considered deprived of their liberty. Now they are failing those they were set up to protect. The current system needs to be scrapped and replaced right away…We know there are enormous pressures on health and adult social care at the moment and our reforms will not only mean that everyone is given the protections they need, but could also deliver a saving to the taxpayer. That’s cash that can then be directly reinvested to support those most in need.” 

The final report with recommendations to government for reform is published here

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