What could be done to improve DoLS and Community DoL practice if LPS does not happen?

Although there has been no confirmation from the DHSC, with each passing day it appears to be clear that either LPS will be significantly delayed or LPS will not happen. In the recent Hill Dickinson webinar ‘Annual Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty webinar incorporating Liberty Protection Safeguards update’ Ben Troke helpfully talked through what might happen if LPS doesn’t happen or it is significantly delayed and what we should all be thinking about if this ends up being the case.

I am sure my Local Authority is not the only one that is starting to think, what are we going to do if LPS doesn’t happen and what could the DHSC be doing to support LA’s, ICB’s and NHS Trusts if LPS doesn’t happen.

I wanted to start this ‘forum topic’ to ask people to share their views on:

  • What can and should local authorities and ICB’s be doing to improve DoLS and Community DoL practice

    • One suggestion would be all ICB’s and LA’s having a clear Community DoL process for people 16+ (something that we have in my LA and I know many other LA’s and ICBs do have, but also know not all have this in place).
  • What should we be asking the DHSC to do in the interim (I would suggest that asking for more money isn’t going to be a possible outcome though :sweat_smile:)

    • One suggestion could be asking the DHSC/MoJ to update the current MCA and DoLS Codes of Practice to be in-line with current case law and relevant guidance (this surely could be done before the next General election).
    • Asking the DHSC to give clear guidance on how to approach the DoLS backlog that many LA’s have and how to manage/prioritise our Community DoL backlogs as well.

Really interested to hear everyone else’s views on this.


Really happy to see this topic - and agree with the other points being made. I think the other issue I like to see debated is where Guardianship under the Mental Health Act might be helpful.

I know it won’t authorise a deprivation of liberty, but it does at least provide clear processes for appeal which might be useful where there are delays in community DoLS.

Guardianship is also on the agenda in the Mental Health Bill team so there could be an option of legal changes if there were support for the idea.



Like Claire, really happy to see this topic debated, I think that while we have accepted the delays which may be years, I think we must revise the manner in which we are carrying out the process, the current risks of backlogs, costs staffing continue and increase if we continue on the current path.

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Thanks for raising this topic. It’s worthwhile thinking about options. There do appear to be options regarding the Code of Practice, as the draft was published for consultation (all 500+ pages) a year ago. I have to admit I didn’t go through the whole code including the section on research, for example, but there was plenty of helpful additional guidance included which reflected case law developments. I would imagine much of the content of the draft code will remain in place, with only Chapter 12 (the chapter on deprivation of liberty) creating some considerable consternation. This chapter clearly needed to be reconsidered, but much of the rest of it

Agree that there’s a lot of good stuff in the draft code (apart from Ch 12!) and it would be a real shame to lose it given how out of date the current codes are.