The government has introduced a bill to overhaul the law on deprivation of liberty in a bid to tackle the huge demand on the current system and save local authorities an estimated £200m a year.
The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords today and will be published tomorrow. It will replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards with a scheme called the Liberty Protection Safeguards, based on proposals issued by the Law Commission last year.
The government has estimated that the reform will save local authorities £200m a year, including by permitting the NHS to authorise deprivations of liberty in its settings and by ensuring that restrictions on people’s care or living arrangements are considered as part of their wider care planning, rather than as a separate process.
Since its introduction, the law surrounding Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) has been a cause of confusion to most people who have to deal with it. Neither professionals nor people who are affected by DoLS really seem to properly understand the process of obtaining or the consequences of failing to have a DoLS order in place. Therefore any reform has to be a welcome change!