Comment

Collaboration and preparation will be key to success of Liberty Protection Safeguards

Learning disability nurses should be aware of changes being implemented in spring 2022

Learning disability nurses should be aware of changes being implemented in spring 2022, when Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards will be replaced

In the UK we are afforded freedoms that people in some countries do not enjoy.

Under the European Convention on Human Rights we have many rights, including that of liberty and freedom of expression. Many of these rights have been obtained through the struggles of others.

They are protected under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), designed to protect peoples rights if they are deprived of their liberty in a hospital or care home in England or Wales and lack mental capacity to consent.

Bournewood case changed the way vulnerable people are treated in law

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Learning disability nurses should be aware of changes being implemented in spring 2022, when Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards will be replaced

Liberty Protection Safeguards
Picture: iStock

In the UK we are afforded freedoms that people in some countries do not enjoy.

Under the European Convention on Human Rights we have many rights, including that of liberty and freedom of expression. Many of these rights have been obtained through the struggles of others.

They are protected under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), designed to protect people’s rights if they are deprived of their liberty in a hospital or care home in England or Wales and lack mental capacity to consent.

Bournewood case changed the way vulnerable people are treated in law

These procedures came into force in 2009 following what has become known as the Bournewood case, which involved a man on the autistic spectrum who was deprived of his liberty in a mental health hospital and unable to object to the detention because he could not speak.

A protracted legal process and his family’s struggle fundamentally changed the way vulnerable people are treated in law.

If you work with vulnerable people you need to be aware that DoLS are being replaced by Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS). This has come about through the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 and will apply from spring 2022 to those living in England and Wales.

If you work with vulnerable people you need to be aware that Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are being replaced by Liberty Protection Safeguards in spring 2022
Picture: iStock

As part of the process there will be greater involvement for families and wider scrutiny of the proposed detention, and it will apply from the age of 16. Schemes are also extending to domestic settings, the person’s own and family home, plus shared and supported living.

Speak to your managers and get up to speed

LPS will create new roles for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and NHS trusts in authorising arrangements. In England, if the arrangements mainly take place in an NHS hospital, in most cases what is called the responsible body will be the hospital manager.

In Wales, in most hospital cases the responsible body will be the local health board. If the arrangements that result in a deprivation of liberty are carried out mainly through NHS continuing healthcare, or the equivalent in Wales, the responsible body will be the relevant CCG in England or the local health board in Wales.

If all of this is news to you, I urge you to speak to your managers and get up to speed. Preparation and collaboration will be the key to success.


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