Written by Alex Beresford, Trainee Solicitor It is out with the DoLs and in with the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) as the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 finally received Royal Assent on 16 May 2019. For many years, Deprivation of Liberties Safeguards (DoLs) have been considered overly complex and not fit for purpose. This Act completely repeals the DoLs process contained in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and replaces it with a new, broader scheme called the LPS. After much debate, the Act has not sought to define 'deprivation of liberty' beyond the wording of Article 5 (1) of the ECHR. The leading case law continues to be Cheshire West and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, which gave a very broad scope to deprivation of liberty, and notably included many care home residents.
A nursing home in Manchester, which was part of a pioneering deal with a local hospital to provide care prior to discharge, has been rated inadequate and placed in special measures. Despite advertising luxurious, high-quality surroundings, it was still heavily criticised in a CQC inspection due to the lack of safeguards and potentially poor standard of care.