HAPPY BIRTHDAY MCA!
The 27th of September we are celebrating 10th Anniversary of the full implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The Mental Capacity Act is a key piece of legislation that is relevant to all of us whether we are working with members of the public, or within our own family lives.
You may ask “So why is the Mental Capacity Act relevant to me?”
If you work with members of the public you are likely to be involved with people where decisions about aspect of their lives, care or treatment need to be made. Most people have capacity to make these decisions for themselves, but there may be people who are not able to make certain decisions, because they lack capacity to make decisions in specific areas of their lives. Therefore it is important that you and your colleagues understand how to recognise that a person lacks capacity to make specific decisions and have an understanding of what to do in these circumstances.
The mental Capacity Act clearly outlines what steps professionals and workers involved with working with member of the public must take if someone lacks capacity to make decisions for themselves and provides a clear test for how to assess capacity and how to make a decision for someone who lacks capacity in their best interests.
In addition to needing to be aware of the Mental Capacity Act within your work environment you need to be aware of the Mental Capacity Act in relation to your personal and family life. The Mental Capacity Act provides options for you and your relatives to make plans for the future in case there is a time in the future when you are not able to make certain decisions for yourself. This may involve for example creating and advanced decision document or a Lasting Power of Attorney for finances of health and welfare. The Mental Capacity Act also provides information about what will happen if you or a family member if they have already lost capacity to make some decisions for themselves, for example it allows for matters relating to significant decisions for people who lack capacity to be referred to the Court Of Protection and provides a legal framework for people who lack capacity and who are deprived of their liberty in care settings order to keep them safe.
Where can I find out about the Mental Capacity Act ?
You can access a copy of the MCA Code of practice on the internet at : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-capacity-act-code-of-practice
Or you can contact the Herefordshire Council Mental Capacity Act manager at: Jane.firstname.lastname@example.org
There is also useful information on the Herefordshire Safeguarding Adults Board website at: