Introduction

General Guidance

This resource and practice toolkit has been written in a user friendly way to;

  1. Develop and increase users understanding of the Mental Capacity Act; and
  2. Support users to practice confidently when assessing mental capacity and making decisions.

It has been specifically written to support those practitioners who are working in statutory social care or healthcare, namely;

  1. Adult Care and Support;
  2. Children’s Services (where practitioners are working with young people from the age of 16);
  3. Primary Healthcare Services; and
  4. Secondary and Tertiary Healthcare Services. 

The resource is divided into the following sections;

Section Summary of content
Understanding the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Using the Act, the Regulations and the Code of Practice this section of the resource explains the key principles and requirements of the Act in a practical and accessible way.
Supporting People to make Decisions and Assessing Capacity After setting out the specific requirements of a Mental Capacity Assessment under the Act, this section of the resource provides practical guidance, examples and resources to build confidence and knowledge in practitioners with responsibility for carrying out assessments.
Making Best Interest Decisions This section of the resource sets out the specific requirements for making Best Interest decisions under the Act, and includes guidance and resources to support Decision Makers to make effective and good decisions under the Act.
The Court of Protection Linking to the Court of Protection requirements set out in the Act, this section of the resource provides tools to support practitioners to decide whether an application to the Court is needed, and if so how to complete an application and prepare a witness statement.
Understanding Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Using Schedules A1 and 1A of the Act, and the DoLS Code of Practice this section explains the statutory requirements of the DoLS framework in a practical and accessible way.
Link to the Full Act For anyone wishing to know more this section of the resource provides a direct link to the most recent version of the full enacted Act.
Link to Codes of Practice For anyone needing to give regard to the Code of Practice for the Mental Capacity Act, or the Code of Practice for the DoLS framework direct links can be found here.

Limitations of the Resource

This resource and practice toolkit will not provide confirmation about;

  1. Local processes for carrying out the statutory requirements of the Act;
  2. Local arrangements for carrying out elements of the Act that are non-statutory (for example general IMCA arrangements); and
  3. Local practice requirements (for example around recording).
It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with local arrangements and requirements before undertaking any assessment of capacity, making a decision or carrying out any other function under the Act.

The Code of Practice

Despite the existence of this resource you are legally required to have regard to the most recent Code of Practice.

If you have to go to Court or Tribunal for any criminal or civil proceedings and it appears that you have not regarded, or have failed to comply with the code this will be taken into account in any subsequent determination that is made.

Click here to access the Code of Practice for the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

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