As you will be aware, the health and social care sector (like others) is working hard to maintain essential services in what are extremely challenging times. Whilst the manner in which many of us work is being adapted in line with current Government and Public Health England guidance, it is recognised that much of the work we undertake can’t simply just stop. So, there is a balance to be had between ensuring, as far as possible, the wellbeing of everyone (especially vulnerable people) and maintaining vital services. I am committed to maintaining as many of the services I provide throughout this period of uncertainty whilst acting responsibly to help ensure the safety of those I work with, vulnerable people and their carers.

To this end, until further notice, the following will apply:

Where possible, I will assess and consult people using non face-to-face methods such as Skype and telephone calls. Sometimes this is not possible and, in those situations, where safe to do so, I will continue with a face-to-face approach. If this is required, current Government guidelines will be followed. Whichever method will be adopted will depend entirely upon the nature and urgency of the work and will be discussed with the instructing party and care providers where applicable.

I wish you a safe and healthy time as we work together over the coming months,

Best Wishes, Gary.

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Liberty Protection safeguards: Where Are We Now?

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill is now reaching its final stage as a Bill before it gains Royal Ascent and becomes an Act of Parliament. The Act will see an end to the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and in their place introduce the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS). Although it will still be some months before we see them in practice because there is still a Code of Practice to publish, training for care home managers and Approved Mental Capacity Professionals to consider. Ping Pong is the final stage of the process where final changes are considered by the Houses of Commons and Lords.

The Government has recently (29/03/2019) published its response to the Lords’ amendments to the LPS. If you recall, when the Bill was last considered by the House of Lords, one proposal was that the definition of a deprivation of liberty was changed because it would have been, in their opinion, too confusing.

The Government’s response is not to accept the Lords’ definition of a deprivation of liberty but also not to propose another. Instead, the definition would be a reference to Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The House of Commons will next consider the amendments on 2nd April 2019.