New legislation was introduced into the House of Lords on July 3 to protect the rights of people who do not have the mental capacity to make decisions about their care.

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill, which applies to England and Wales only, seeks to replace the current system known as ‘Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards’ (DoLs) with a new system, known as ‘Liberty Protection Safeguards’.

DoLs was criticised by a 2017 Law Commission review for being too complex and bureaucratic. The reforms seek to:

  • Introduce a simpler process that involves families more and gives swifter access to assessments
  • Be less burdensome on people, carers, families and local authorities
  • Allow the NHS, rather than local authorities, to make decisions about their patients
  • Get rid of repeat assessments and authorisations when someone moves between a care home, hospital and ambulance as part of their treatment.

The reforms will also save local authorities an estimated £200 million or more a year.

Originally Published by Pharmacy Magazine

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