The deprivation of liberty safeguards Code of Practice was laid in draft before Parliament by the Lord Chancellor on 13 June 2008, in accordance with sections 42 and 43 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The Code was subject to the negative Parliamentary process, and successfully completed its 40 day laying period on 22 July.
The final version of the Code was published on 26 August 2008. It is available in hard copy from The Stationery Office Bookshop.
The deprivation of liberty safeguards have been introduced into the Mental Capacity Act 2005 by the Mental Health Act 2007. It is planned that the safeguards will come into force in April 2009.
The safeguards provide a framework for approving the deprivation of liberty for people who lack the capacity to consent to treatment or care in either a hospital or care home that, in their own best interests, can only be provided in circumstances that amount to a deprivation of liberty. The safeguards legislation contains detailed requirements about when and how deprivation of liberty may be authorised. It provides for an assessment process that must be undertaken before deprivation of liberty may be authorised and detailed arrangements for renewing and challenging the authorisation of deprivation of liberty.
The Code of Practice contains guidance on the deprivation of liberty safeguards. It is particularly intended to provide guidance for professionals involved in administering and delivering the safeguards, who are under a duty to have regard to the Code. The Code is also intended to provide information for people who are, or could become, subject to the deprivation of liberty safeguards, and for their families, friends and carers, as well as for anyone who believes that someone is being deprived of their liberty unlawfully.