health & social care
local government

Effectively Transitioning to Liberty Protection Safeguards

health & social care

local government

08:45 - 15:50

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Central London

This Forum will provide participants with an opportunity to discuss the progress of the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill and receive an update on the implications of the reform of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) to Liberty Protections Safeguards (LPS). Attendees will hear from policy leaders on the key features of LPS, and what transitioning to the safeguarding scheme will mean for local authorities and care providers at a regional and national level.


This Forum is designed specifically for Sector Leaders across the Health and Social Care and Local Government sectors.

Typical job titles include:

  • Directors of Adult Services
  • Learning Disability Liaison Nurses
  • CHC Clinical Leads
  • Regional Directors
  • Adult Social Care Service Managers
  • Heads of Safeguarding
  • Policy Managers
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Managers
  • Safeguarding and Mental Health Specialists
  • Service Managers
  • Ward Managers
  • Heads of Inpatient Services
  • Care Home Managers
  • MCA Professional Leads

The Forum is also open to the Voluntary and Housing Sectors to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Tim Spencer-Lane, Lawyer, Law Commission for England and Wales 
  • Katherine Barnes, Barrister, 39 Essex Chambers
View the agenda and additional speakers

In July 2018, the Government published the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill, which, if passed into law, will reform the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) scheme, replacing it with a scheme known as the Liberty Protection Safeguards. Currently being debated by Parliament, it is anticipated that the Bill will come into force in late 2019/early 2020. The Government asserts that £200m a year will be saved by local authorities under the new scheme.

There is significant pressure and mounting urgency to reform the current safeguards scheme; 70% of the almost 220,000 applications for DoLS in 2016 -17 were not authorised within the required timeframe. As a result, many people are currently being unlawfully deprived of their liberty, in breach of Article 5 of the ECHR. As many as 100,000 people are currently affected by this backlog, which clearly demonstrates the need to reform the current system.

Councils have completed four times as many DoLS applications as those received in the past year, adding further cost pressures on overstretched council budgets at a time when adult social care faces a funding gap of £3.5 billion by 2025.

It is imperative that the new responsibilities being introduced in the Mental Capacity Bill for care homes, CCGs, local councils and hospitals are understood, and that careful planning and training are effectively implemented. There is a clear need for collaboration on this issue and it is essential that all relevant organisations work in partnership to ensure the welfare of vulnerable people in care.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Dr Lucy Series, Lecturer, School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University (invited)


Special Keynote: Towards Liberty Protection Safeguards - The July 2018 Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill

  • Understanding the background to the Bill, including the Law Commission’s review
  • Outlining the main provisions in the Bill, including extending protections to all care settings, and discussing the implications of this
  • Introducing a simplified process as part of the Mental Capacity Bill that involves families and ensures quicker access to assessments
  • Giving responsibility to the NHS, as well as local authorities, to make decisions about their patients, allowing for a more efficient and accountable process

Tim Spencer-Lane, Lawyer, Law Commission for England and Wales (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Outlining the New Assessment and Authorisation Process

  • Introducing the new authorisation and assessment process, and key changes, such as conducting a pre-authorisation review
  • Outlining the authorisation process for care homes, community care settings and the NHS, and what impact greater responsibilities will have on services
  • Considering the role and responsibilities of the Court of Protection in Liberty Protection Safeguards and how service providers should work with it
  • Detailing the changes in role and responsibilities between Best Interest Assessor (BIA) and Approved Mental Capacity Professional (ACMP)
  • Exploring how practitioners should best consult with the cared-for person’s family and carers to ensure that deprivation of liberty is always considered to be a last resort

Katherine Barnes, Barrister, 39 Essex Chambers (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Adopting a Strategic Approach to Reduce the Number of Automatic Applications

  • Implementing a strategy to cope with automatic authorisations for patients in whom there is a genuine risk of deprivation and prevent applications from getting lost
  • Preventing staff from becoming disillusioned with a process that they see as largely irrelevant and not contributing to the care of the patients
  • Ensuring that patients who have capacity to consent for their proposed procedure on admission are also asked to agree to any necessary temporary deprivation of their liberty which might flow from their treatment
  • Identifying patients whose incapacity is clinically explicable by their physical illness; on recovery from their illness, it is expected that they will rapidly recover their capacity
  • Ensuring that incapacitated patients who are accompanied by friends or relatives do not have an automatic application for DOLS made on their behalf, even if they pass the acid test threshold, providing the accompanying persons agree to the deprivation

Robert Wheeler, Associate Medical Director, Department of Clinical Law, University Hospital of Southampton (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Ensuring Effective Implementation of the Mental Capacity Legislation by Providing Practical Support to Frontline Staff

  • Providing frontline staff with practical support to assist their implementation of the Mental Capacity legislation
  • Developing and publishing the Friends and Family leaflet for DoLS for assisting staff to support families to have a better understanding of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
  • Developing the MCA Champions network including the development of the MCA workspace
  • Exceeding the MCA and DoLS training compliance Trust target of 85% for the second year running, reaching 88% at MCA Level 1 training and 91% at MCA Level 3 training
  • Maintaining a robust monitoring system for patients meeting the threshold for DoLS to ensure that no service user is unlawfully deprived of their liberty

Senior Representative, Safeguarding Service, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Keeping Those at Risk at the Centre of the Transition to Liberty Protection Safeguards

  • Outlining the work of the National Mental Capacity Forum in ensuring that a person’s right to liberty is protected and preventing exploitation
  • Considering the implications of the Law Commission’s proposals for the Liberty Protection Safeguards for the social care workforce
  • Maintaining a focus on quality by sharing best practice in DoLS assessment, service improvements and information from regional audits
  • Highlighting the challenges for DoLS leads in achieving a balance between processing a high volume of requests whilst maintaining quality

Professor Baroness Ilora Finlay, Chair, National Mental Capacity Forum (invited)


Special Keynote: Next Steps for the Mental Capacity Amendment Bill

  • Outlining the SCIE’s response to the reforms, which mark a positive step towards safeguarding the most vulnerable but require clarification
  • Raising key concerns from the reforms, namely regarding timings around consent to treatment when capacity is fluctuating, and the workloads that assessments impose on services that are close to breaking point already
  • Describing how the SCIE is helping with the transition to Liberty Protection Safeguards by providing best practice guidance
  • Offering suggestions for the health and social care workforce to ensure excellence however the new system will work in practice

Ewan King, Director of Business Development and Delivery, SCIE (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Providing a Direct Point of Access for Frontline Healthcare Staff to the Local Authority

  • Developing and rolling out a safeguarding app across the East region and then nationally, providing safeguarding support for all staff
  • Highlighting the inadequacy of using printed resources to access safeguarding advice, updates and guidance due to the changing nature of safeguarding legislation and practice
  • Considering the process, from pilot to nation-wide adoption, and discussing he challenges and lessons learned
  • Discussing the benefits of the app, including free and easy access to any local authority safeguarding process
  • Providing immediate access to up-to-date guidance for all staff, mitigating risks and providing prompt support
  • Noting that as of May 2018, the safeguarding app had been downloaded more than 67,000 times and is utilised over 200 times a day

Sarah Robinson, Patient Experience and Quality Manager, NHS England – Midlands and East (invited)


Panel Discussion: Liberty Protection Safeguards - Where Do We Go From Here?

Lorraine Currie, MCA and DoLS Manager, Shropshire Council (invited)

Dr Gareth Owen, Lead Academic, Mental Health, Ethics & Law Group and PI for the Mental Health & Justice Project, Kings’ College London (invited)

Victor Nene, Designated Adult Safeguarding & Clinical Quality Manager, NHS Central London CCG (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair’s Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

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