Mental Capacity Act 2005 - A Basic Introduction

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 empowers and protects vulnerable adults aged 16 and over who are unable to make decisions for themselves, perhaps because of:

• a learning disability
• dementia
• a mental health problem
• head injury/ stroke
• a drug, alcohol or substance addiction
• an acute illness

The Act covers a wide range of decisions to be made, or actions taken, on behalf of people who may lack capacity to make these specific decisions for themselves – these may be decisions about day to day matters, like what to buy when doing the weekly shop, or decisions about major life changing events, such as whether the person should move into a care home or undergo a major surgical operation.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is intended to assist and support people who may lack capacity, and to discourage anyone involved in caring for the person from being overly restrictive or controlling. It also aims to balance an individuals rights to make decisions for themselves with their right to be protected from harm if they lack capacity to make decisions to protect themselves.

It sets out a legal framework of how to act and make decisions on behalf of someone lacking capacity to make a specific decision.

As well as the person lacking mental capacity, the Act also applies to their family, friends, health and social care staff and anyone else who is involved in their care. 

The Act also allows people to plan ahead for a time when they may lack mental capacity in the future, following an accident for example.

The key values that underpin the Act are set out in five statutory principles:

1. A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is  established that they lack capacity
2. A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless  all practicable steps to help him to do so have been taken without success
3. A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because he makes an unwise decision
4. An act done, or decision made, under this Act, for, or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done, or made, in his best interests
5. Before the act is done, or the decision is made, regard must be had to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of the person’s rights and freedom of action

Following the principles and applying them to decision-making will help to ensure that the appropriate action is taken in individual cases, and also point the way to solutions in difficult or uncertain situations.

For more information about the Mental Capacity Act, for advice and how to make sure you are being compliant, consult the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice or contact us as per details on the right-hand side of the screen

Mental Capacity Act - Basic Awareness training 2017-2018

21st April 2017      

09:30 – 12:30

22nd May 2017

09:30 – 12:30

22nd May 2017

13:30 – 16:30

22nd June 2017

09:30 – 12:30

22nd June 2017

13:30 – 16:30

20th July 2017

09:30 – 12:30

20th July 2017

13:30 – 16:30

6th September 2017

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6th September 2017

13:30 – 16:30

26th September 2017

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26th September 2017

13:30 – 16:30

24th October 2017

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24th October 2017

13:30 – 16:30

23rd November 2017

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23rd November 2017

13:30 – 16:30

5th December 2017

09:30 – 12:30

5th December 2017

13:30 – 16:30

8th January 2018

09:30 – 12:30

8th January 2018

13:30 – 16:30

7th February 2018

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7th February 2018

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8th March 2018

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8th March 2018

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MCA and National Mental Capacity Forum (Video)

Featuring Baroness Finlay

Last updated: 11 April 2017 12:40:29