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Liberty Protection Safeguards: Duration, Renewal and Reviews

When the replacement to the Deprivation of Liberty (DoLS) scheme was being considered by the Law Commission and then Parliament, it became apparent that the intention was for the replacement scheme, Liberty Protection Safeguards to be considered at the care planning stage.  This of course was the intention of the DoLS scheme but since the Cheshire West case this has occurred less and less as the backlog of people waiting for authorisations has increased significantly.

Under the Liberty Protection Safeguards, the responsible body will authorise the arrangements and it will come into effect immediately.  However, if necessary, they can delay the start date of the authorisation for up to 28 days.  Once authorised, it will cease after 12 months or sooner if a shorter authorisation was specified by the responsible body at the time the arrangements were authorised.  It will also cease if;

  • the authorisation is renewed in accordance with paragraph 32 , it ceases to have effect at the end of the renewal period which could be up to 3 years.
  • the responsible body at any time determines that an authorisation is to cease to have effect from any earlier day, it ceases to have effect from that day.
  • at any time, the responsible body believes or ought reasonably to suspect that any of the authorisation conditions are not met.
  • the arrangements are not in accordance with mental health requirements

If an authorisation hasn’t expired, it can be renewed.  Initially this can be for a maximum of 12 months although subsequent authorisations can, in certain circumstances, be for up to 3 years.  If the arrangements are care home arrangements, the responsible body may renew the authorisation if the care home manager provides a written statement which confirms that; the authorisation conditions continue to be met, it is unlikely that there will be any significant change in the cared-for person’s condition during the renewal period which would affect whether those conditions are met and the care home manager has carried out consultation with the necessary people.