The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) is a legal framework in the United Kingdom that provides safeguards for individuals who lack the capacity to consent to their care and treatment, and as a result, are deprived of their liberty for their own safety and well-being. Recently, there have been significant changes to the DoLS, aiming to improve the protection and rights of vulnerable individuals. In this blog post, we will explore the key changes in the DoLS and their implications.
1. The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019:
The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 replaces the previous DoLS system with the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS). This change is designed to simplify the process and align it with the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The LPS will provide a legal framework for authorizing the deprivation of liberty for individuals in hospitals and care homes, as well as for individuals receiving care and treatment in their own homes.
2. A More Person-Centered Approach:
One of the significant changes introduced by the LPS is a shift toward a more person-centred approach. The focus is now on the individual's wishes, feelings, and values. The new process emphasizes involving the individual in decision-making and considering their views, as well as consulting with family members, friends, and relevant professionals to ensure the individual's best interests are at the forefront of any decision regarding their liberty.
3. Introduction of Responsible Body and Approved Mental Capacity Professionals (AMCPs):
Under the LPS, a Responsible Body, typically the local authority or NHS trust, will oversee the authorizations for deprivation of liberty. The Responsible Body will appoint Approved Mental Capacity Professionals (AMCPs) who will conduct assessments and provide independent scrutiny of the proposed deprivation of liberty arrangements. This independent oversight aims to ensure that any decision to deprive an individual of their liberty is lawful and necessary.
4. Enhanced Rights to Challenge Decisions:
The LPS introduces enhanced rights for individuals and their representatives to challenge decisions regarding their deprivation of liberty. This includes the right to request a review of the authorization and the right to appeal to the Court of Protection if they believe their rights have been breached. These changes aim to empower individuals and their advocates to actively participate in the decision-making process and ensure their rights are protected.
5. Streamlined Assessment and Authorization Process:
The LPS aims to streamline the assessment and authorization process to make it more efficient and less bureaucratic. The new system will replace the current complex and lengthy paperwork with a simpler form. The focus will be on the individual's capacity to consent, the necessity of the deprivation of liberty, and the least restrictive alternative options available.
The changes in the DoLS, introduced through the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019, bring about important improvements in protecting the rights and well-being of individuals who are deprived of their liberty due to a lack of capacity. The shift toward a person-centered approach, enhanced rights to challenge decisions, and the introduction of Responsible Bodies and AMCPs aim to ensure that any deprivation of liberty is necessary, proportionate, and in the individual's best interests. These changes mark a positive step forward in safeguarding the rights and dignity of vulnerable individuals under the DoLS framework.
Online courses can be a convenient way to learn and acquire knowledge on specific topics. If you are interested in taking the DoLS course through Learning Connect, I recommend visiting the website at https://www.learningconnect.co.uk/Course/Mandatory-Care-Courses/Mental-Capacity-Act-and-DoLS