The DHSC published the minutes of the December LPS steering group meeting on 29 January 2021. The minutes include discussion of the DHSC’s intentions as regards monitoring, as follows:
- CQC and Ofsted will be the two bodies in England to monitor and report on LPS.
- The responsibility for monitoring and reporting will be divided between CQC and Ofsted broadly on the basis of age. CQC will be responsible for authorisations relating to those aged 18 and over, while Ofsted will be responsible for 16 and 17 year olds. There will be some overlap. CQC and Ofsted will co-ordinate and agree responsibility in these areas, for example where services are dually registered. It will be for CQC and Ofsted to determine how they will implement this in practice.
- The monitoring bodies (CQC and Ofsted) will report on LPS annually, via a published report. It’s likely that the format of this report will be negotiated with the Secretaries of State for Health and Social Care and for Education.
- It’s proposed that the monitoring bodies will be granted new powers relating to the monitoring and reporting of LPS, including to:
- Visit places where authorised arrangements are being carried out.
- Meet with cared-for persons: in order for this to take place the person must have capacity to consent to the meeting and give consent, or it must be determined that such a meeting is in the person’s best interests in accordance with section 4 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
- Require existing records relating to the care or treatment of persons to be produced, and to inspect those. This power will cover records kept at the setting or the service provider, as well as by the Responsible Body that authorised the deprivation of liberty. Under LPS, Responsible Bodies will be asked to regularly notify the monitoring bodies of new, renewed and varied LPS authorisations. They will also notify the monitoring bodies of authorisations that come to an end. DHSC and other partners are working on the mechanism by which the monitoring bodies will receive this data from RBs.
The minutes record that:
DHSC officials acknowledged that this is a complex area and that some of the proposals represent a change from DoLS. DHSC welcomed the candid and constructive discussions that they continue to have with the monitoring bodies in this regard and the progress made to date. DHSC is planning to work more closely with the Responsible Bodies too, as the draft regulations and Code are firmed up. The Welsh Government confirmed that they are working closely with DHSC colleagues on this too and are keen to consult publicly at the same time as England.
DHSC explained that the Government is not planning to design and mandate detailed training products for the whole breadth and variance of the workforce’s training needs. However, the Government recognises that LPS is a significant change and this is an opportunity to raise standards in training from DoLS. DHSC’s strategy will therefore be to put in place a training framework setting out learning outcomes for the differing levels of knowledge that the workforce will require, and a national workforce strategy. DHSC will commission the development of some example training products that health and social care providers can make use of to ensure workforce readiness. DHSC acknowledged the need to continue to involve a wide range of stakeholders across the health and social care sector, including the young people’s workforce as LPS introduces a new system for this group where DoLS did not apply.
The minutes also record DHSC’s intentions as regards data collection.
Separately, the LPS team have also published their fourth newsletter update, covering the impact assessment (addressed here) and also, in relation to the Code of Practice:
Last year we confirmed our intention that the LPS Code of Practice will be combined with the updated MCA Code of Practice. The joint Code of Practice would provide statutory guidance on implementing the LPS system in England and in Wales. We are working closely with the Welsh Government to ensure that relevant Welsh health and social care legislation is reflected in the draft Code of Practice, ahead of public consultation.
The Code of Practice will be published in English, Welsh and easy read formats. We will ensure that relevant documents will also be available in these formats during the public consultation period, to help ensure that everyone who wants to respond to the consultation has the information they need to be able to do that.
To subscribe to the newsletter update from the LPS team, email firstname.lastname@example.org. I maintain a LPS resources page here, and the DHSC has a ‘LPS Landing page’ accessible here.