Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

A Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard is a procedure set up to ensure that people who are currently living in a care home or are in hospital and unable to provide consent about their care arrangements are protected should any provision deprive them of their liberty.

The procedure is called a Community Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard for people living in their own homes.

Alzheimer’s Society state: the ‘Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards’ is a set of checks that are part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and applies in England and Wales. These were designed to protect a person receiving care whose liberty has been limited, by checking that this is appropriate and is in their best interests.

A deprivation of liberty is when a person has their freedom limited in some way. It occurs when: ‘The person is under continuous supervision and control and is not free to leave, and the person lacks capacity to consent to these arrangements.’

A deprivation of liberty is common for a person with dementia receiving care who may have:

  • decisions made for them or on their behalf
  • limitations on where they are allowed to go
  • their routine decided for them

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards for people in supported living | Alzheimer’s Society (

March 2022 LPS Update:

On the 17th March 2022 the Government published (for a 12 week consultation only) the draft of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice, which includes the guidelines for the new Liberty Protection Safeguards service/pathway.  Please read it here.

Devon County Council will be contributing to the consultation and feeding back comments.  If you have anything to add to this conversation, please email using the LPS address below.

Devon County Council will continue to work to the current Code of Practice during this consultation period.

LPS questions can also be asked via the LPS FAQ Mailbox:

Proposed changes

In July 2018, the Government published a Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill, which passed into law in May 2019. It will replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards with a scheme known as the Liberty Protection Safeguards.

The target date for the implementation of Liberty Protection Safeguards has been delayed by the Government. Devon County Council do not yet have regulations or the Code of Practice that will be required before the Act can come into force, but they will be included with this information in due course.

A 12 week public consultation on the draft regulations and Code of Practice for the Liberty Protection Safeguards is due to take place in early 2022. The Government has announced it will confirm the date of implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards following this consultation.

The government has published a series of factsheets which can be found here and we have provided some frequently asked questions and answers about the Liberty Protection Safeguards.

Please contact the Liberty Protection Safeguards Project Team at if you have any questions about the Safeguards.