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Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 Key Principles

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 applies to everyone involved in the care, treatment and support of people aged 16 and over living in England and Wales who are unable to make all or some decisions for themselves.

A recent report on the informative website for the Social Care Institute for Excellence, (SCIE), offered an at a glance summary presenting an overview of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005, which is vital information to health and social care practice.

“The MCA has been in force since 2007 and applies to England and Wales. The primary purpose of the MCA is to promote and safeguard decision-making within a legal framework. It does this in two ways:

  • by empowering people to make decisions for themselves wherever possible, and by protecting people who lack capacity by providing a flexible framework that places individuals at the heart of the decision-making process
  • by allowing people to plan ahead for a time in the future when they might lack the capacity, for any number “

The MCA is designed to protect and restore power to those vulnerable people who lack capacity.

  • The MCA also supports those who have capacity and choose to plan for their future – this is everyone in the general population who is over the age of 18.
  • All professionals have a duty to comply with the Code of Practice. It also provides support and guidance for less formal carers.
  • The Act’s five statutory principles are the benchmark and must underpin all acts carried out and decisions taken in relation to the Act.
  • Anyone caring for or supporting a person who may lack capacity could be involved in assessing capacity – follow the two-stage test.
  • The MCA is designed to empower those in health and social care to assess capacity themselves, rather than rely on expert testing – good professional training is key
  • If capacity is lacking, follow the checklist described in the Code to work out the best interests of the individual concerned
  • Understanding and using the MCA supports practice – for example, application of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Social Care Institute for Excellence’s mission is as quoted on their website “to identify and spread knowledge about good practice to the large and diverse social care workforce and support the delivery of transformed, personalised social care services. We aim to reach and influence practitioners, managers and the sector leadership who have responsibility for service delivery in adults’ and children’s services. We recognise the central role of people who use services, children, young people, their families and their carers, and we aim to ensure their experience and expertise is reflected in all aspects of our work”.

We at Building Construction Partnership will be continuing to regularly place articles and links on this site that are essential reading to professionals  in the health care industry, whether at design, development, build, management or ownership level.  This ensures not only the maintenance of good practice but constant ‘keeping in lines’ with frequent new laws and legislations.

If there are any specific areas of concern or interest that you would like us to cover in the near future please offer in the ‘comments’ section in full confidentiality.

Please feel free to call our information support line on:0800 019 9750

or email: in full confidentiality

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