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The Act states that everyone should be treated as being able to make their own decisions, until it is shown that they are not. It also aims to enable people to make their own decisions for as long as they are capable of doing so.
A person’s capacity to make a decision will be established at the time that a decision needs to be made. A lack of capacity could be because of mental health problems, dementia, a severe learning disability, a brain injury, a stroke or unconsciousness due to an anaesthetic or a sudden accident.
It also makes it a criminal offence of neglect or ill-treatment of a person who lacks capacity. An explanatory document is available to download from this page.
The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards have been introduced into the Mental Capacity Act 2005 by the Mental Health Act 2007.
The safeguards provide a framework for approving the deprivation of liberty for people who lack the capacity to consent to care or treatment in either a hospital or care home that, in their own best interests, can only be provided in circumstances that amount to a deprivation of liberty.
The legislation contains detailed requirements about when and how deprivation of liberty may be authorised. It provides for an assessment process that must be undertaken before deprivation of liberty may be authorised and detailed arrangements for renewing and challenging the authorisation of deprivation of liberty.
If you support people with dementia, learning difficulties or other cognitive issues, then the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) is relevant to you. The new MCA project newsletter is out now- with news on the government consultation, local partnership working and new initiatives, as well as information about using the law in practice.
The newsletter also includes this link to our new web-resource of tools, information, case studies and real life stories:
Please feel free to share both resources with citizens, patients, colleagues and partners. If you have views about any of the content, we’d love to hear from you: