In an update published today (12 June) DHSC has confirmed that the intention is for the new Liberty Protection Safeguards system to come into force on 1st October 2020, subject to ongoing implementation planning with delivery partners and the Welsh Government and progress of the work on developing the Code of Practice and regulations for this reform.
The update continues:
The Government is currently working closely with stakeholders across the sector in England and Wales on developing draft chapters for the Code of Practice. The Code of Practice will be a vital document for practitioners, the people who rely on these protections and their families. The Government’s priority is to ensure the Code of Practice delivers on providing detailed and easy to understand guidance which will ensure the successful implementation of the new system. The focus must be on getting this right.
Good progress is being made and initial outputs from the working groups contributing to this work can be expected by summer 2019. The Government plans to do further work with expert groups and those with lived experience over the coming months and following this there will be a full public consultation. The final draft of the Code is expected to be laid before Parliament in spring 2020. The Department of Health and Social Care is working closely with the Ministry of Justice to align this work with the review of the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice.
The Government is also in the process of drafting the regulations brought forward by the Act. These will set out important detail regarding the reform. There will be engagement with the sector on the development of the regulations and we expect that these will also be laid before Parliament in spring 2020.
Alongside the work on the Code of Practice and the regulations, the Government is taking forward a range of activity to prepare for implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards, working closely with key delivery partners and stakeholders. Some initial materials will be published shortly which will be publicly available and they can be used by the sector as a starting point in the preparations for the new system. The Government is also in the process of developing training both to support staff in the sector with the change to the new system, and to approve people to become Approved Mental Capacity Professionals.
There will still be people who have an authorisation in place under the current Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards system on the date the new system comes into force. The Government will work with delivery partners and stakeholders on developing transitional arrangements, but the expectation is that such people will remain under their existing authorisation until it expires.
For more details of the LPS scheme, see here.