The Mental Capacity Amendment Bill

Well reader, you may have heard of the The Mental Capacity Amendment Bill currently going through Parliament, have you been consulted about the changes.

Government introduces bill to overhaul deprivation of liberty law in bid to save councils £200m

Part of the bill is that they want to introduce a form of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DOLS) which can be authorised by your Hospital Administrator to

consider restrictions of people’s liberties as part of their overall care package

although not implicit in legislation, it ignores recommendations from the Law Society.

Recent opinion is that one of the ways that the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) could be used is when a person living with Dementia is an inpatient in Hospital, fit for discharge but there is no Social Care available.

In order to free up a bed, the Hospital Administrator could authorise an LPS against the person and force them into a care home until Social Care is available, to the detriment of the person, their Dementia, their rights and their family and could also be seen as a conflict of interest.

The new LPS also expands the sphere of influence of DOLS into care provided in a persons own home.

So where does that fit in with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, or does it. It seems to open to interpretation.

During the first stage through Parliament significant parts of the Law Commission report were excluded from legislation and some areas around advocacy were excluded from discussion altogether.

Will these areas be excluded from the second reading, I do not know, but it is incumbent on the opposition parties to raise these issues and I will be looking to see if they raise the concerns contained in this and other linked articles.

The bill reaches the committee stage tomorrow, September 5th and then goes on to a further reading in Parliament before becoming law.

As I have said reader, although not implicit in the legislation, there could be a conflict of interest by the person authorising the Liberty Protection Safeguard, as it continues through Parliament it will interesting to see how it will conform to International Law c/o the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Whilst I am no expert in these matters reader, reading about this bill as a layman does raise concerns.

There is further comment in this and other areas of the bill in this blog

Further articles that raise concerns and question the validity of the changes

Comment on LPS containing many concerns

Mental Capacity Report: Special Report: Law Commission MCD Project

The ‘Adjusted’ Liberty Protection Safeguards: Some Concerns

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Law Commission: Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty

Further Comment on various aspects of the bill

What is the place of law? News from the second reading of the Mental Capacity Amendment Bill

‘Son of DOLS’ – summary and some initial thoughts from the 39 Essex Chambers Mental Capacity Report editors

Dimensions briefing on the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill

Majority of practitioners opposed to key aspects of DoLS replacement proposals

Westminster changes to Mental Capacity Act threaten rights of vulnerable adults

9 thoughts on “The Mental Capacity Amendment Bill”

  1. My son, because of a learning difficulty has been subject to DOLS legislation at residential college & during brief spell in supported living. These were things he wanted to do but was deemed to lack capacity to agree to, to think it could be used to force him into inappropriate placement when I’m not around to protect him is frightening & how is it going to apply in his own home?


  2. My understanding is that LPS expands the scope of DoLS into a persons own home and it is transferable between care settings. If taken out in a hospital it could still apply on discharge to your own home and may set out your place of residence and care arrangements Concerns have been expressed by others that having a Hopsital administrator authorising an LPS may not be done in the persons best interests leading to them being move to a care home to free up a bed. There has been little debate or media coverage on such an important issue with some of the Law Commission recommendations omitted from legislation and issues such as advocacy omitted from debate in Parliament altogether.


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