The minutes from the most recent LPS National Steering Group[1] make for interesting reading for all those in the care home sector. We learn from these that the Government has decided that “now is not the right time” to introduce the care home manager role in England that was previously envisioned under LPS. It had recently been confirmed that the public consultation on the draft regulations and Code of Practice for LPS will be taking place in Spring 2021 and implementation of the LPS is some way off, anticipated to be in April 2022. In the meantime this is an important update for care home providers that gives the sector some clarity at this earlier stage.

Under the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019, the care home manager role was going to have involved making arrangements for assessments, gathering evidence as to whether someone was going to be deprived of their liberty, obtaining their views on their care arrangements and whether the necessary conditions for an authorisation were met.

The minutes reflect that the care home manager role in LPS has always been contentious. They state that the care home manager was envisaged to take the lead on the LPS process “reducing the burden on local authorities and CCGs” and this would be beneficial as they would know the person and their wishes and feelings. However, the provisions were unpopular with many, not least the care home sector, who were rightly concerned about the implications of taking on this additional role and by those who saw a potential conflict of interest in the role envisaged in the legislation. The minutes state that the Government believes the aims of the care home manager role are still valid, but they will be focusing on the other aspects of the implementation of LPS and the care home manager role will not be introduced in England in April 2022.

This is not necessarily the end of the matter. The Government states it will keep the care home manager role “under review” and it will be informed by the public consultation next year. But, for now we know that it will not be implemented in England any time soon, if at all.

The minutes also explain that there will be six sets of regulations covering:

• The IMCA role under LPS
• Approved Mental Capacity Professional – the criteria for becoming one and mandatory training requirements
• The transitional arrangements from DoLS to LPS
• Who can carry out assessments and determinations under LPS
• Consequential regulations about the other legislation that will need to be amended as a result of Mental Capacity Amendment Act 2019
• Monitoring and reporting LPS

As well as the draft regulations that are due to be available in Spring 2021, the draft Code of Practice will be expected at this time and will contain the detail of how LPS will work in practice.

A further update is expected around December, after the steering group have met again.


[1] Which was held on 13 October 2020, but the minutes for which have only just been published by the Department of Health and Social Care - https://app.box.com/s/bt5rdrfdudhcyh8fygv0nyeh0qsnfhu3 

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