Liberty Protection Safeguards (LiPS)
In March 2017, the Law Commission produced its final proposal on a replacement for the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), and suggested amendments to the Mental Capacity Act itself. The changes to the act are to incorporate the new scheme, called the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LiPS), and to strengthen people’s rights in areas such as best interest decisions.
The proposed scheme:
- Applies in any health and social care setting, not just care homes and hospitals
- Applies to anyone from 16 years old and above, rather than 18, as is the case with DoLS
- Introduces a two-tier system of protection
- In most cases, the “responsible body” (which replaces the supervisory body, and which would be the local authority in most social care cases, and the NHS for most hospitals) would conduct – making use of existing assessments where possible – a capacity assessment, a medical assessment, and an assessment of whether the planned care arrangements are “necessary and proportionate”. An independent reviewer, working for the responsible body but not otherwise involved in the person’s care, would then look at the assessments, and approve the arrangements if satisfied.
- An Approved Mental Capacity Professional (replacing the Best Interests Assessor role) would only be called in on those cases where the person was objecting to their care arrangements, or had made previous statements that would indicate a likely objection to their care arrangements.