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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The Countdown to the Liberty Protection Safeguards Begins

Following Royal Assent and the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 becoming an Act of Parliament, further details have now emerged about when the Liberty Protection Safeguards are likely to be implemented.  In a letter dated 10/06/2019, the Minister of State for Care, Caroline Dinenage outlined the next steps for the Liberty Protection Safeguards.  She reiterated that the current deprivation of Liberty Safeguards system is, ‘broken, bureaucratic and currently leaving thousands without protection’.

The intention is for the Liberty Protection Safeguards system to come into force on 1st October 2020 (although that date is subject to their ongoing work of; implementation planning, developing the new Code of Practice and statutory instruments).  She said that her priority is to develop a Code of Practice that provides, ‘detailed and easy to understand guidance which will ensure the successful implementation of the new system’.

Over the coming months, further work will be done with expert groups and those with lived experiences.  After which, there will be a full public consultation and it is expected that the draft Code of Practice and new regulations will be laid before Parliament in Spring 2020. Shortly, the Government will publish some publicly available initial material which will help people in their preparations for the new Liberty Protection Safeguards system. Additionally, the Government are developing training to support staff in the sector and to approve people to become Approved Mental Capacity Professionals.

Caroline concludes her letter by recognising that when the Liberty Protection Safeguards come into force, those people currently under a standard authorisation (under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) will remain under that authorisation until it expires.  The deprivation of liberty will then be assessed under the new, Liberty Protection Safeguards.  If you would like to know more about the Liberty Protection Safeguards, please take a look at some of my other posts.  If you are a care home and would like to discuss training ahead of the new scheme being implemented, please contact me.