The long awaited Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) is due to come into full force in April 2022, replacing the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) as the system to lawfully deprive somebody of their liberty.

It is imperative that new Responsible Bodies created via the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 begin their preparations, training and strategies now to ensure smooth transition to the new process.

The Responsible Bodies authorise an incapacitated person’s deprivation of liberty. The identity of the Responsible Body will depend entirely upon the arrangements for the person’s care which could be:

  • An NHS Trust or Local Health Board if the person is being cared for in the hospital, or
  • A CCG or Local Health Board for arrangements under NHS CHC, or
  • A Local Authority in all other situations, such as care homes, supported living and private hospitals.

Under LPS, deprivation of liberty will have to be authorised in advance by the Responsible Body and will also apply to 16-and 17-year olds alongside adults.

The new roles and responsibilities will include:

  • the identification of an ‘appropriate person’ to represent and support the cared for person,
  • the assessment of the cared for person’s capacity,
  • consultation with the cared for person,
  • pre-authorisation reviews,
  • drafting and signing off authorisation records,
  • regular reviews, and
  • the authorisation of the DOL in an emergency situation.

As these new safeguards are going to radically alter who can authorise the deprivation of liberty, it is essential that Liberty Protection Safeguards leads, advisors and senior managers understand the new legal framework and be begin their preparation, training and strategies for these changes coming into full force in April 2022.