DoLS replacement bill becomes law ahead of expected implementation in 2020

Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 will introduce Liberty Protection Safeguards to replace Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Mental Capacity Act
Photo: Gary Brigden

Legislation to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) has today received Royal Assent, heralding a new system for authorising deprivations of liberty in care.

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill, which became the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019, was approved by the Queen after completing its journey through Parliament at the end of April.

The legislation will introduce a new model for authorising deprivations of liberty in care, dubbed the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS).

The government has still to confirm an implementation date for the LPS, with Spring 2020 previously mooted as the likely time frame it is working to.

It has, however, been confirmed that the DoLS will run alongside the LPS for a year after implementation to ease the transition of existing cases.

The government will also draft a series of regulations and a code of practice – which will be subject to consultation – setting out the detail of how the LPS will work.

What the new law means for you

Find out how the law around authorising deprivation of liberty will change under the impact of the Liberty Protection Safeguards in this guide to the legislation written by Tim Spencer-Lane, who advised the government on the act.

Turbulent journey through Parliament

The legislation changed significantly since its introduction last July, under the pressure of campaigners and through the work of opposition members of the House of Lords.

This included the government’s decision to introduce and then drop a deprivation of liberty definition from the face of the legislation, the scaling back of the responsibilities of care home managers and an increased role for approved mental capacity professionals.

You can read more about the act’s passage through Parliament here:

DoLS replacement bill approved by Parliament with Liberty Protection Safeguards due to come into force in 2020

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