The main effect of the legislation is to scrap Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and replace them with a new system of Liberty Protection Safeguards.
Headway is working with the Ministry of Justice on the Code of Practice which will set out how the changes to the law are used in care settings. The government has said that cases dealt with under DoLS will continue under the old system for up to a year, to ensure a managed transition of cases to the Liberty Protection Safeguards system.
What are Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)?
DoLS ensure that the deprivation of a person’s liberty should not happen unless absolutely necessary and in the best interests of the person concerned.
The following safeguards create a process to be followed whenever it is thought necessary to restrain or restrict a person living in a hospital or care home:
- The deprivation of liberty must be formally authorised - this is the responsibility of either the NHS hospital or the registered care home
- The application should be submitted to a supervisory body for approval, usually the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) or local authority
- The process can only be applied to someone who is incapable of making a decision about the arrangements made for their care and/or treatment
- After an independent assessment, the deprivation must be considered to be in the person’s best interests and necessary to protect them from harm
- All minimally restrictive means of meeting the person’s best interests must be considered
If it is felt that a deprivation of liberty is inappropriate, or the deprivation has not been properly authorised, the matter should be discussed with the relevant supervisory body.
When agreement cannot be reached, an application to the Court of Protection may be needed in order for the matter to be reviewed by a judge.Back