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

Friday 8 December 2017
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: Towards Liberty Protection Safeguards: Implications of the 2017 Law Commission Report
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“The Law Commission recommends that DoLS are repealed as a matter of urgency, and are replaced by a new scheme called the Liberty Protection Safeguards.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 conference will update delegates on the implications of the House of Commons Briefing Paper 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 10th October 2017

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. 

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.”
“It’s not right that people with dementia and learning disabilities are being denied their freedoms unlawfully. There are unnecessary costs and backlogs at every turn, and all too often family members are left without the support they need.”

The House of Commons Briefing Paper is published here

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