For Advocacy Awareness Week 2022, our Chief Executive Philip Bramson shares some thoughts on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and their replacement, the Liberty Protection Safeguards.

Under the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) will be replaced by Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS). Both are measures designed to protect a person receiving care whose liberty has been limited.

DoLS are wider in that they also cover people in the community, not only in formal settings. Originally, it was anticipated that DoLS would offer access to more people wanting to challenge deprivation of their liberty.


The DoLS system is overstretched and doesn’t have the impact it was designed to. This is partly because legal rulings have meant that it needs to be applied to more people than was originally envisaged. That is why it was to be replaced by LPS.

However, the implementation date keeps going back, the detail of how DoLS should be applied remains vague and the resources likely to be attached to the project remain unclear. (We expect the Code of Practice to be finalised early in the new year).

The only thing we know for sure is that public sector funding is likely to be under enormous challenge over the coming period, due to the state of the economy.

History repeated

It feels that there is a real possibility that LPS will come in and, just like DoLS, will be flawed from the outset due to lack of resources. History will repeat itself. Both times as tragedy.

Part of the difficulty is to get that tragedy understood by the wider public. To engage people with the implications of people being deprived of their liberty. At The Advonet Group, we want to get this on everyone’s agenda by starting as many conversations as possible.