Policies, legislation and tools

Safeguarding policies, legislation and tools

Update on the delayed implementation of Liberty Protection Safeguarding

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 includes a provision known as Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), which enables legal safeguards to be put in place for an adult who lacks capacity and is in a hospital or a care home.

Additionally, there is a separate process for deprivations of liberty that occur in the community, The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 introduces Liberty Protection Safeguarding (LPS) to replace DoLs. LPS will cover a wider range of circumstances than the current DoLs arrangements including 16 and 17-year-olds.

These changes were initially scheduled for April 2021. With the outbreak of Covid, this was deferred until April 2022. We have now received notification from the Department of Health and Social Care ( DHSC ) that LPS will not now be introduced in April 2022.

Prior to the change, the DHSC will issue a draft Code of Practice with a 12-week consultation to allow sufficient time for those that are affected, including those with learning disabilities, to respond. The draft Code will provide detailed proposals for the design and implementation of the LPS. We encourage everyone who will be impacted by the changes to participate in the consultation when it is launched. The Council will alert partners as soon as we hear that the Code has been launched.

It is anticipated that there will be a minimum period of 3 months following the consultation whilst the DHSC considers responses and then a final decision will be made about the design of the LPS and plans for implementation, including future funding plans. Only when this has taken place will the government set a new target date for implementation.

We will be in touch again as soon as we hear about the launch of the consultation as we believe that it is very important that everyone with experience of the Mental Capacity Act, their families, and people who work with the MCA can meaningfully engage with the consultation.

Guidance and webinars regarding the Mental Capacity Act and LPS can be found at https://www.scie.org.uk/mca/lps

You can also keep updated with the progress towards LPS by registering for updates from the DHSC via this email – [email protected]

GOV.UK: How to make decisions under the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Guidance from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services in England (ADASS):

Sutton Housing Partnership: Multi-agency Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedure

Social Care institute for excellence (SCIE) Adult safeguarding: policy and procedures

  • London multi-agency safeguarding policy and procedures’ (2015)
  • Care Act adult safeguarding resources

Care Act 2014 Statutory Guidance (Department of Health, 2014)
The legal framework for the Care Act 2014 is supported by this statutory guidance. It provides information and guidance about how the Care Act works in practice. The guidance has statutory status which means there is a legal duty to have regard to it when working with adults (with needs of care and support) and carers.

Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practise
The legal framework provided by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is supported by this Code of Practice (the Code), which provides guidance and information about how the Act works in practice. The Code has statutory force, which means that certain categories of people have a legal duty to have regard to it when working with or caring for adults who may lack capacity to make decisions for themselves.

Statement of Government Policy on Safeguarding
The document outlines the Government’s policy on safeguarding adults vulnerable to abuse and neglect. It includes the statement of principles for Local Authority Social Services and housing, health, the police and other agencies to use, for both developing and assessing the effectiveness of their local safeguarding arrangements. It also describes, in broad terms, the outcomes for adult safeguarding, for both individuals and organisations.

Safeguarding Adults – Roles and responsibilities in health and care services
(Department of Health, Local Government Association, ADASS, NHS Confederation, Association of Chief Police Officers, 2013). This guidance provides clarity about the roles and responsibilities of the key agencies involved in adult safeguarding. The aim is to ensure that the right things are done by the right people at the right time, working within their own agency and with partners.

Information Sharing Guidance for Practitioners and Managers
This guidance supports good practice in information sharing by offering clarity on when and how information can be shared legally and professionally, in order to achieve improved outcomes. This guidance will be especially useful to support early intervention and preventative work where decisions about information sharing may be less clear than in safeguarding situations.

Commissioning for Better Outcomes
(Department of Health, Local Government Association, ADASS, Think Local, Act Personal)
This guidance outlines standards to support a dynamic process of continuous improvement and, through self-assessment and peer review, to challenge commissioners and their partners, to strengthen and innovate to achieve improved outcomes for adults using social care, their carers, families and communities. The standards are relevant to all aspects of commissioning and service redesign, including decommissioning. The standards have been designed to reflect the improvements that experience has shown are needed, to support the transformation of social care to meet people’s reasonable aspirations, and to support the implementation of the Care Act 2014.

Prevention in Safeguarding
(Social Care Institute of Excellence, 2011). This guidance outlines a range of methods of preventing the abuse of vulnerable adults, from public awareness campaigns through to approaches that empower the individual to be able to recognise, address and report abuse. In addition, it examines policy and practice guidance and examples of emerging practice.

Making Safeguarding Personal – A toolkit for responses
(Local Government Association, 2015). The toolkit is set out in a modular format with a summary of key areas. These areas range from models, theories and approaches to skills and areas of specialism that safeguarding practitioners need to be aware of. It can be used as a practitioner guide for pointers on how to respond to individual cases, or as a starting point resource for service development.  It has been designed as a resource that will develop over time and allow updates and amendments to be made as development takes place or innovative and effective practice comes to light.

Safeguarding adults from harm – a legal guide for practitioners: access to adults at risk or abuse or neglect
(SCIE,2014). This guide clarifies existing powers and legal options relating to access to adults suspected to be at risk of abuse or neglect where access is restricted or denied. It is intended as a source of ready reference rather than as a learning tool, laying out the potential routes to resolution. It is important that social workers and their managers are as clear as possible on which legal powers or options apply to which situations, and in cases of any uncertainty that they consult their senior managers and/or the legal department of the local authority. Throughout the guide there are inks to information on the relevant legislation and case law.

Page last updated on February 8th, 2022 at 3:18pm

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