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Further Information

Government will legislate to replace Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The government has agreed to legislate to replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) with a new system to authorise the confinement of people in care arrangements they lack the capacity to consent to, when parliamentary time allows.

In a parliamentary statement (14th March), social care minister Caroline Dinenage said that the government had broadly accepted a replacement for DoLS – known as the Liberty Protection Safeguards – proposed by the Law Commission following a review of the law in this area commissioned by ministers, which reported last year.

Caroline Dinenage's Parliamentary statement (HCWS542):

Subject to the Written Ministerial Statement HCWS202 made on 30 October 2017, I am today announcing the publication of the Government’s final response to the Law Commission’s report on mental capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), a copy of which is attached.

I welcome the publication of the Law Commission’s report and thank them for their careful, comprehensive and considered work. This Government is committed to take action to reform mental health, and transform care for people with learning difficulties and / or autism. Taking action to reform the current DoLS regime is an important contribution towards achieving these aims and providing greater protection for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

We have set out in detail our provisional view of each individual proposal in our response, and we broadly agree with the Liberty Protection Safeguards model. As the Government has commissioned a review into the Mental Health Act, proposals that relate to the interface between the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act will be considered as part of that review. We also want to ensure that Liberty Protection Safeguards fit with the conditions and future direction of the health and social care sector, so we will continue to work through the detail of the recommendations and engage further with stakeholders particularly on implementation. We will bring forward legislation to implement the model when parliamentary time allows.