The Law Commission's consultation paper on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) which opened on 7 July ended this week, the final report and draft Bill is expected in 2016 with any changes being introduced in 2017 or later.

The DoLS have been criticised since they were introduced for being overly complex and excessively bureaucratic. A House of Lords Select Committee published a detailed report in March 2014 concluding that the DoLS were 'not fit for purpose' and recommended that they be replaced.

The current DoLS apply to those in care homes and hospital settings and have faced many criticisms since their introduction.

The consultation papers proposed to introduce a new scheme called 'protective care' to replace the DoLS. Its aim is to extend the settings to which it applies and to include those who live in supportive living and shared lives accommodation.

As well as expanding the settings to which it applies, the proposed scheme will also ensure that it adopts the same language and approach of the Mental Capacity Act, to unify. The main principles of the proposed scheme are to improve outcomes, remove unnecessary bureaucracy and overly-elaborate procedures, comply with both the European Convention of Human Rights and the UN Disability Convention and establish a system that can be adapted to suit the case at hand.

The protective scheme is divided into 'supportive care''restrictive care and treatment' and 'protective care in hospital settings and palliative care' each of which deals with different aspects and situations.

Further detail on the consultation can be found here, we will post the final report and draft Bill once it is published.