William Eichler 18 March 2022

Government launches Liberty Protection Safeguards consultation

Government launches Liberty Protection Safeguards consultation   image
Image: Dr ake krisda/Shutterstock.com.

The Government has launched a consultation on Liberty Protection Safeguards to ensure the freedoms and human rights of people who may need assistance making everyday decisions are better protected.

Liberty Protection Safeguards provide protection for people aged 16 and above who need to be deprived of their liberty in order to enable their care or treatment and who lack the mental capacity to consent to their arrangements.

The Department of Health and Social Care and Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation to update the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice to better support those with dementia, acquired brain injuries, learning disabilities and autism.

The Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice sets out how carers and practitioners can make decisions for others on a day-to-day basis while ensuring the individual is both protected and empowered.

The new Liberty Protection Safeguards being consulted on will introduce an explicit duty to consult with the person and those interested in their welfare to find out the individual’s wishes and feelings about proposed arrangements.

They will also allow people to have representation including independent mental capacity advocates to ensure their rights are protected and assess what safeguards are necessary when decisions are being made.

‘Some of the most vulnerable people in society are lawfully deprived of their liberty to ensure they receive the best possible care, as safely as possible, while they are in hospital or living in a care home,’ said the minister for care and mental health Gillian Keegan.

‘Liberty Protection Safeguards put people at the heart of care, just as we promised in our reform programme and will give them more of a say in their care.

‘The proposed changes will speed up processes and increase fairness, ensuring the balance between a person’s human rights and freedoms and their need to receive the right care in the right place at the right time.’

The new system will replace Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, which have been in place since 2009, with the consultation starting today.

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