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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.