There is a new law that can help - The Mental Capacity Act 2005
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Making decisions
A guide for advice workers
Helping people who are unable to make some decisions for themselves
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Making decisions
A guide for advice workers
Helping people who are unable to make
some decisions for themselves
This booklet provides information on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and how it will affect you.
It is not a statutory Code of Practice issued under the Mental Capacity Act 2005
and is not a guide to how the law will apply to specific situations.
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This document has been produced by:
It was written by:
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Acknowledgements
The Mental Capacity Implementation Programme (MCIP) published
this booklet. MCIP is a joint government programme between the
Department for Constitutional Affairs, the Department of Health, the
Public Guardianship Office and the Welsh Assembly Government
that has been established to implement the organisation, process
and procedures to launch the Mental Capacity Act in 2007.
This booklet was written by Jana Elles with material from Penny
Letts. We are grateful to them and the rest of the team at Advice
Services Alliance Advicenow.
We are also very grateful to all those who provided feedback
on drafts of the booklet and took part in the pilot. They played
an important role in sharing their views and perspectives on the
booklet and helped us to reflect on our work.
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Contents
1 Introduction 6
Who is this booklet for? 6
How will the Mental Capacity Act affect my work? 6
The Code of Practice for the Mental Capacity Act 8
What does the Mental Capacity Act cover? 9
When does the Mental Capacity Act come into force? 13
2 How do I know if someone lacks capacity? 14
Assessing capacity: Principles 1, 2 and 3 15
The test to assess capacity 16
Who can assess capacity? 17
What does this mean for me? 18
3 Helping people who lack capacity to make decisions 19
Principle 4 – best interests 19
Principle 5 – the less restrictive option 21
4 Advising people on planning for the future 22
Lasting Powers of Attorney 22
Advance decisions to refuse treatment 24
Wishes and feelings about treatment and care 25
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5 How else might the new Mental Capacity Act affect my work? 26
Ill-treatment or wilful neglect of a person who lacks capacity 26
Protection from liability for carers and professionals 26
Taking part in research 27
Resolving disputes and rights of appeal 27
6 Who can help? 30
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) 30
The Court of Protection 30
Court of Protection deputies 31
Court of Protection visitors 32
The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service 32
7 Jargon buster 34
8 What if I want to know more about the Mental Capacity Act? 37
9 Some useful contacts 38
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1. Introduction
Who is this booklet for?
This booklet is for advice workers and others who give advice as
part of their job. It tells you about the new Mental Capacity Act and
how it will affect your work.
The Mental Capacity Act (also referred to as ‘the Act’ in this guide)
will come into force in England and Wales during 2007. It will help
and support people who are unable to make some decisions for
themselves, because, for instance, of a stroke or brain injury,
dementia, a learning disability or mental health problems. It will help
people to plan ahead in case they are unable to make decisions in
the future.
If you are unsure of any of the terms in this guide, please refer to the
Jargon buster on page 34.
Although this booklet should give you a broad overview of the Act
and its main implications for you in your work, you may find you
need more information. See page 37 for a list of useful contacts and
sources of further help at the back of this booklet.
How will the Mental Capacity Act affect my work?
You will need to know about the Mental Capacity Act if you give
advice to:
people who may lack the mental capacity to make some
decisions for themselves
people who care for, help, or work with people who lack
capacity
anyone who wants to know more about the law and how it
could affect them, for example if they want to prepare for a time
when they might lack capacity.
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Lacking mental capacity
If a person lacks mental capacity then they can’t make a
particular decision at the time it needs to be made, because the
way their mind or brain works is affected. The inability could be
because of, for instance, a stroke, brain injury, mental health
problem, dementia, or a learning disability. In this guide ‘lacking
capacity’ means the same as ‘lacking mental capacity’.
An adviser’s story
After Marie had gone I thought about what she’d asked me.
She’d seemed genuinely concerned about Ruby and it was nice
to see a young woman looking out for her neighbour, but I’d felt a
bit uneasy about giving advice to her without meeting the person
we were talking about.
Marie told me that Ruby’s doctor said she needed to move to
a care home. He thinks she’s not managing on her own now
her dementia is so advanced. Marie came in to see if we could
suggest anywhere. It all seemed a bit odd, as Marie thinks Ruby
is managing ok. Apparently Ruby is very unhappy about the idea
of a care home but because a doctor says she should move they
feel they have to go along with it.
I’d advised Marie that rather than heading straight into sorting
out a move, we could go back a step and check what is really in
Ruby’s best interests. I wanted to meet Ruby so that I could try
to explain things clearly enough for her to make her own choice.
I’d had to shuffle things around to get an appointment sorted:
Marie reckoned Ruby would be more ‘with it’ after eating lunch.
Apparently Ruby sometimes gets agitated with new people, so
we had to find a time when Marie could be there too, so that she
could help me to explain. But hopefully after the visit I’d be sure
that Ruby was ok about whatever we ended up helping her to do.
Find out what happened when the adviser visited Ruby later in
this booklet.
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The Mental Capacity Act has the potential to affect everyone.
As well as having clients who themselves lack capacity you may
get their friends, relatives or carers, like Marie in the story above,
walking through your door. When you help them you will need
to ask ‘does my client have the mental capacity to make this
decision?’ or ‘is what my client asking me to advise them on really
in the best interests of the person they care for?’ If there is, or could
be, any question about the capacity of your client, or someone your
client helps, you should ensure that your actions and your case
records reflect the requirements set out in the Mental Capacity Act.
The Code of Practice for the Mental Capacity Act
There will be a Code of Practice alongside the Act, which will
provide guidance on how the Act should work on a day to day
basis. It will give case studies and explain in more detail what the
key features of the new law are. Professionals and anyone who is
paid for the work they do with someone who lacks capacity will
have a duty to ‘have regard’ to the Code. Having regard involves
paying attention to the Code of Practice and being able to show
that you are familiar with the guidance in it and have followed it.
If you don’t follow the Code you should be able to give convincing
reasons as to why not.
This will include advice and advocacy workers (paid or unpaid), as
well as other professionals who may be involved in your cases, such
as doctors, housing or health advisers, youth workers and the police.
Remember that the involvement does not have to be a formal or paid
role, as it includes those who work as volunteer support workers as
well as attorneys (page 22) or deputies (page 31).
Family, friends and other unpaid carers won’t have a duty to ‘have
regard’ to the Code but will still find the guidance useful. It is a good
idea for you to draw their attention to relevant parts of the Code.
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The Code will be available from April 2007, and can then be
downloaded for free from the DCA website:
www.dca.gov.uk/legal-policy/mental-capacity/index.htm
What does the Mental Capacity Act cover?
The Act pulls together many best practice principles and case law
decisions which help people who don’t always have the capacity
to make decisions for themselves. Although much of what is in the
Act is not new, it means that you can now find the law as it affects
people who may lack capacity in one place without having to piece
it together from other sources. The Act will also introduce some
changes and new safeguards which you need to know about.
The Act aims to make sure that people who lack capacity to make
decisions and are therefore vulnerable are given all the help and
support possible to enable them to make their own decisions, or are
as involved as much as possible in decision making.
The Act lays down five key principles which underpin everything
else in the Act and the way it is used. In particular the principle of
acting in a person’s ‘best interests’ is crucial. The five principles are
described on page 14.
Best interests
If anything is done or any decision is made for people who lack
capacity to make a decision for themselves it must be in their best
interests. This means thinking about what is best for the person,
not about what anyone else wants. See page 19 for more details.
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The Act explains how to work out when someone may lack mental
capacity and when this may be important:
It defines a lack of mental capacity, setting out a basic capacity
test and makes clear that someone’s capacity may vary
depending on the time and type of decision that has to be
made (see page 14).
This includes people whose capacity fluctuates, for example
because they have mental health problems, which means that
they might be able to make a particular decision on one day but
not the next.
It also includes those who lack the capacity to make some
decisions but not all. For example, someone who has dementia
may be able to make decisions about what to wear but may
lack the capacity to decide whether they are able to live safely
in their own home.
The Mental Capacity Act makes it easier for someone to plan ahead
for a time when they may lack capacity to make some decisions
affecting their lives:
Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) will be replaced by Lasting
Powers of Attorney (LPAs). These will enable people to appoint
a representative (an ‘attorney’) to make personal welfare
or health decisions, or decisions about their property and
affairs, should they lack capacity to make these decisions for
themselves at some time in the future (see page 22).
It also formalises rules on making advance decisions to refuse
medical treatment, and sets out additional requirements for
advance decisions that refuse life sustaining treatment
(see page 24).
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In order to protect vulnerable people, the Act:
Clarifies how people should act when helping someone who
lacks capacity to make a decision. In particular this includes
ensuring that any help given to them is in their ‘best interests’
(see page 19).
Creates a new Court of Protection with High Court status which
will deal with cases relating to mental capacity issues (see page
30).
Creates a new Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)
service (see page 32).
Creates the role of Public Guardian who will keep a register of
LPAs and EPAs, supervise deputies (see page 30) and provide
general information and advice on the Act. The Public Guardian
will be supported by the Office of the Public Guardian.
Introduces a new offence of ill-treatment or wilful neglect of
someone who may lack capacity to take decisions to protect
themselves (see page 26).
Sets out the rules for when people without capacity to consent
can still take part in research (see page 27).
Decisions that are not covered by the new law
Some types of decisions (such as consenting to sex, marriage,
divorce, adoption and voting etc) can never be made by another
person on behalf of someone who lacks capacity, even if they are
an ‘attorney’ or a ‘deputy’ and the Mental Capacity Act does not
change this.
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Most of the Mental Capacity Act does not apply to under 16 year
olds. There are two exceptions:
The Court of Protection can make decisions about property for
under 16s,
The new offence of ill-treatment or wilful neglect (see page
26) will also apply to situations involving under 16s who lack
capacity.
Most of the provisions of Mental Capacity Act do apply to young
people aged 16-17 although under 18s will not be able to make
a Lasting Power of Attorney, or an advance decision to refuse
treatment under the new law.
For more detail on how young people will be affected by the Act
and how it will interact with other relevant legislation such as the
Children Act, check the Code. Get expert help if you need to advise
on this.
The Mental Health Act
The 1983 Mental Health Act (MHA) is primarily about people who
are diagnosed as having a mental health problem which means
that, in the interests of their own health or safety or to protect
other people, they have to be compulsorily detained or treated.
The MHA is not changed by the Mental Capacity Act, but the
two Acts may affect the same people. The Mental Capacity Act
will apply to everyone who lacks capacity, including patients
who have been detained in hospital (‘sectioned’) under the
Mental Health Act. However, these people won’t be covered by
the Mental Capacity Act in regard to compulsory mental health
treatment which can be given without consent under the Mental
Health Act itself. The new Mental Capacity Act will, however,
apply to most other situations where someone who has been
detained lacks capacity to make a decision, such as consenting
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to treatment for anything else, for example a physical condition,
or making financial decisions.
The Government is working on updating the Mental Health Act.
For more information visit the Department of Health website at:
www.dh.gov.uk.
When does the Mental Capacity Act come into force?
April 2007
The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate service (IMCAs) will
become operational in England (see page 32).
The new criminal offence of ill-treatment or wilful neglect will
come into force in England and Wales (see page 26).
Sections 1-4 of the Act (the principles, assessing capacity
and determining best interests – see pages 14-20) which are
essential to how IMCAs operate will also come into force but
only in situations where an IMCA could be involved, and for the
purposes of the criminal offence. Sections 1-4 of the Act will
not apply in any other situations until October 2007.
The Code of Practice for the Act will be published and should
be followed by those who must have regard to it in situations
where an IMCA could be involved.
October 2007
All other parts of the Act will come into force including the IMCA
service in Wales.
If you need more information please see page 37 for a list of useful
contacts and other sources of information.
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2. How do I know if someone lacks capacity?
As part of your work you may be asked for advice by a client who is
worried about their relative’s ability to make decisions because, for
example, they keep giving money they can’t afford to a neighbour.
To deal with cases like this you will need to be sure that the
person concerned has the mental capacity to make those kinds of
decisions. This means that you will have to know how to carry out a
capacity assessment, either to apply the test yourself or to explain it
to relatives and carers.
To help with this, the Act begins by setting out five key principles
which must underlie everything you do in relation to someone who
may lack capacity to make some decisions. It also defines what
‘mental capacity’ is and explains how you assess whether someone
has mental capacity to act in any given situation.
The five principles:
Principle 1
It should be assumed that everyone can make their own decisions
unless it is proved otherwise.
Principle 2
A person should have all the help and support possible to make and
communicate their own decision before anyone concludes that they
lack capacity to make their own decision.
Principle 3
A person should not be treated as lacking capacity just because
they make an unwise decision.
Principle 4
Actions or decisions carried out on behalf of someone who lacks
capacity must be in their best interests.
Principle 5
Actions or decisions carried out on behalf of someone who lacks
capacity should limit their rights and freedom of action as little as
possible.
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For more detail it is important that you refer to the Mental Capacity
Act and the Code of Practice.
The first three principles should be used to work out what decisions
a person can make for themselves. We look at this in more detail in
the section ‘Assessing capacity’, below.
The last two principles set out how decisions should be made and
actions taken on behalf of a person who lacks capacity. This is
explained in more detail on pages 19-21.
Assessing capacity: principles 1, 2 and 3
The law sets out how you can assess someone’s capacity to make
a particular decision. Anyone carrying out an assessment must
apply principles 1, 2 and 3:
Principle 1 says that every adult has the right to make their own
decisions. You must assume that someone is capable of making a
decision unless it’s shown that they aren’t. You should not assume
that someone can’t make a decision just because they have a
particular disability or condition.
Principle 2 says that before applying the capacity test you must be
sure that someone you think may lack capacity has had all the help
and support they need to encourage and enable them to make and
communicate their own decision. The person should be given all
the information they need to make the decision, which should be
presented to them in a way which makes it as easy to understand
as possible.
This may mean, for example, having the information explained to them
by someone they understand and trust, and using pictures, Braille or
audio tape. The person’s decision does not have to be conveyed in
any particular way (for example, it doesnt have to be spoken or written
or grammatical) so long as it is clear what they have decided. In some
instances this could, for example, mean that blinking or squeezing
a hand may be enough to communicate a decision. If, after all the
help and support has been given, their capacity is still in doubt then
it should be assessed.
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Principle 3 says that you should not treat a client as lacking
capacity just because they choose to make a decision which you
or someone else thinks is unwise. The capacity test concerns the
ability to make a decision, not how sensible it is. Deciding to spend
up to the limit on two or three credit cards is not a wise thing to do,
but it isn’t suggested that anyone who gets into debt in this way
should have their capacity to make that decision assessed.
The test to assess capacity
The new law says that a person should not be assumed to lack
capacity just because of their age, behaviour, any condition they
have, or because they couldn’t make a particular decision in the
past. The new law makes clear that assessing if someone can make
a decision should be about whether they can make a particular
decision at a particular time and not about their capacity to make
decisions in general. A lack of capacity may be temporary, for
example when someone is depressed, or it may just concern some
types of issues, for example, a person with a learning disability may
have capacity to decide what they should wear each day, but they
may lack capacity to choose how to invest their money.
There are four key questions you must consider to help you
determine whether someone is able to make a decision:
Can the person understand information relevant to the decision,
including understanding the likely consequences of making, or
not making the decision?
Can they retain this information for long enough to make the
decision?
Can they use and weigh the information to arrive at a choice?
Can they communicate their decision in any way?
If you believe that the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, then
you cannd that they lack capacity to make that decision at that time.
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It can be difficult to assess capacity as the test relies on the
discretion of the person applying it. However, as long as you have a
‘reasonable belief’ that your assessment is correct, you should be
protected by the law.
Reasonable belief
The Act says that you must have a reasonable belief that your
assessment of someone’s capacity is correct before you can act
on their behalf. This means that any other reasonable person would
come to a similar conclusion as you in the same circumstances.
The Act and Code stress the importance of applying the test for
capacity every time action or a decision is needed. However, in
practice it might not be necessary to assess someone’s capacity
on every occasion if help is needed frequently or continuously.
For example, if you are an attorney managing the finances of a
person with early stage dementia you may not need to interview
them every time that you pay a routine bill for them so long as
you reasonably believe they continue to lack capacity to act for
themselves on this issue and that they’ve authorised you to act in
this way.
This ‘reasonableness’ test partly depends on the role of the
person who is helping: a solicitor, for example, would be expected
to have a different type of knowledge to bring to a decision than a
relative or attorney who is not a professional.
Who can assess capacity?
Anyone can assess capacity including medical professionals,
advisers, lawyers, friends, relatives and carers, but the person
who assesses should be someone appropriate to the decision or
action in question (for example an adviser may be appropriate to
assess capacity relating to decisions about benefits claims but not
necessarily personal care). The more serious the decision being
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made the more formal the assessment should be. There are no
forms to fill in to ‘prove’ that somebody has been found to lack
capacity to make a decision but your records should show how you
carried out the assessment.
What does this mean for me?
If you need help on the practicalities of how you or others should
be applying the test you should look at the Code of Practice
which gives detailed guidance. For example, it clarifies that even if
someone can only understand the relevant information for a short
time and convey their decision very simply, this can be enough. It
also explores how you can help a person to understand information,
for example, someone with depression may feel more able to deal
with decisions at particular times of the day.
Capacity should be assessed for each particular decision. Assessing
capacity is not a ‘one off’ event or a checklist to tick off. In each
new situation, for example at the start of an interview, or as new
decisions come up, you will have to apply the test. The assessment
should check if the person’s lack of capacity to make the decision
is temporary, (for example, because of a recent stroke), when it
might change and what can be done to help and support the person
to make the decision in question. Some decisions may be safely
postponed until the person regains their capacity to make it.
Appointees
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will need to apply
the capacity test and adhere to the five principles of the Mental
Capacity Act when they decide if someone has the mental
capacity to manage their benefits, as will anyone who acts as an
‘appointee’.
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3. Helping people who lack capacity to make
decisions
If your client, or the person they care for, lacks capacity to make
a particular decision, then principles 4 and 5 apply. Everyone
making decisions or acting for someone who lacks capacity will be
bound by these principles, whether they are a carer, relative, friend,
lawyer, adviser, attorney, a representative of the court, or any other
professional. As an advice worker you will not only need to act in
line with these principles but will need to be able to look at whether
the principles have been followed by others involved in your case,
for example, your client’s GP or the DWP.
Principle 4 - ‘best interests’
The principle of always acting in a person’s best interests is a
crucial part of the Mental Capacity Act, and should be central to
any action taken on behalf of someone who lacks capacity. The
Act gives a checklist of key factors which you must consider when
working out what is in someone’s best interests. This is not a full list
and you should refer to the Code of Practice for more details, but,
to check ‘best interests’ includes:
Never make assumptions about the person lacking capacity
based on their looks, age, appearance, behaviour, or their
condition alone. How a person appeared last time you met
them, or what your receptionist tells you about their behaviour,
may be relevant to help you assess if their condition may
fluctuate but should not prejudice your assessment of their
capacity in relation to the decisions you are considering.
Consider all the relevant circumstances, including looking at
other options. For example, if a carer wants a relative with
advanced dementia to move into a care home because they
think they lack capacity to make decisions about everyday
living, you should advise them that there may be other care and
housing options available.
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Consider postponing the decision if the person may regain the
capacity to make it. For example, if a major decision needs to
be made for someone who has had a recent stroke; it may be in
their best interests to wait until they regain the capacity to make
it for themselves.
Make sure that the person retains as much control and
involvement in the decision making as possible.
If the decision is about treatment needed to keep someone alive
(called life-sustaining treatment), the person making the decision
must not be motivated by a desire to bring about death.
Think about what the person lacking capacity would have
decided for themselves by taking into account what is known of
their past and present wishes and feelings, beliefs and values,
(particularly if they have been written down). For example, a
best interests assessment of a person who has always held
outspoken views against accepting charity should take this into
account when looking at maximising their income even though
it may not in the end rule out an application for money from a
charity if this is determined as being in their overall best interests.
As far as possible consult with others, such as family, friends
and any deputy or attorney, and take into account what they
think would be in the person’s best interests.
Any other relevant factors must also be taken into account when
assessing what is in someone’s best interests. How issues are
weighed up will depend on the individual case, and on things like
the urgency and importance of the decision. There will be further
guidance on how to determine best interests in the Code of
Practice.
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Principle 5 – the less restrictive option
Principle 5 says that you or anyone else helping a person who lacks
capacity should consider all possible options which will limit the
person’s rights and freedom as little as possible. This means that
when you or anyone else does anything to or for a person who lacks
capacity you must choose the option that is in their best interests
(principle 4) and you must consider whether you could do this in a
way that interferes less with their rights and freedoms of action.
When deciding on the best course of action to take for someone
who lacks capacity to make a decision, conflict may arise.
Principles 4 and 5 say that although the views of relatives or carers
may be invaluable, decisions made should, be based on what is
best for the person and not about what anyone else wants. See
page 27 for more information on resolving disputes.
An adviser’s story, continued
I was really glad I’d gone to see Ruby: I felt a lot clearer about
what was going on. I’m not medically trained but I could see that
Ruby’s dementia was causing a lot of difficulties. She told me that
she often forgets to take her medication, and would not know
when it was time for meals if Marie didn’t pop in and remind her.
Although she was confused at times she definitely understood
what we were talking about, with a few prompts from Marie.
We talked through all the options for Ruby’s future, including the
GP’s recommendation that she move into a home. Ruby was
definite she wanted to stay in her flat so we talked through ways
to make it safer. Ruby was happy with the suggestion that we see
what help social services can give and pleased that Marie was
happy to carry on popping in to help. She also agreed to make
claims for Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance for her
and Marie.
Read on to find out what happened next.
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4. Advising people on planning for the future
Many people ask advisers to explain how they can prepare for
their future, for example, how they can make a will or set out what
they would want to happen to them if they lose the ability to make
their own decisions. The Act formalises and changes some of the
measures currently available.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
The Act will introduce new ‘Lasting Powers of Attorney’ (LPAs)
which will replace the current system of Enduring Powers of
Attorney (EPAs) (see page 23).
An LPA enables a person who has mental capacity and is over 18
(the ‘donor’) to appoint another person or people (their ‘attorney(s)’)
to make certain decisions for them if they lose the capacity to make
them themselves.
There will be two types of LPA:
A property and affairs LPA for decisions about financial matters,
similar to an EPA. This type of LPA can be used while the donor
still has capacity, unless the donor specifies that it can’t.
A personal welfare LPA can only be used when the donor no
longer has capacity to make decisions affecting their health or
personal welfare.
Unless the donor says otherwise on their LPA form, the attorney will
have authority to act on the donor’s behalf for all the issues covered
in the LPA. However, if a donor wants their attorney to make
decisions about ‘life-sustaining treatment’ (see page 24) they will
need to specify this in the personal welfare LPA form. Any attorney
will have to abide by the five principles of the Act including acting in
the donor’s best interests, and will have a legal duty to have regard
to the Code.
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As part of your job you may be asked how someone can make an
LPA: There are two forms for donors to fill in, one for each type of
LPA. LPA forms will have to be certified and then registered (for
a fee) with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG, see page 30)
before they can legally be used, as unregistered LPAs don’t give
any powers to the attorney. Anyone wanting to check if an LPA is
registered can contact the OPG which keeps a register of LPAs.
Forms to make and register an LPA will be available from the OPG
(where you can also get guidance on filling in the forms) and from
legal stationers.
Enduring Powers of Attorney
A Power Of Attorney is where someone delegates the power to
manage their financial affairs to someone they trust, who becomes
their ‘attorney’. There is already a system for people to appoint
attorneys for financial matters called an Enduring Power of
Attorney (EPA).
If someone has an existing EPA it will still be valid and can be
registered after the Mental Capacity Act comes into force although
new ones can’t be drawn up after 1st October 2007. If you’re
already an attorney and the EPA has been registered because the
donor can no longer make their own financial decisions then you
can carry on as before. If the EPA has not been registered and the
donor at some point is no longer able to make financial decisions
after the Mental Capacity Act comes into force then the EPA will
have to be registered before the attorney can continue to use it.
If the donor still has capacity, then after the Act comes into force,
the donor can keep the EPA for finance decisions, revoke it and
replace it with a property and affairs LPA, or keep it and also make
a personal welfare LPA.
Other Powers of Attorney are not affected by the new law.
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The Court of Protection will have the power to revoke LPAs and
EPAs if they’re misused. Guidance and more details on the duties
and responsibilities of attorneys will be available from the OPG and
you should also refer to the Code of Practice.
Advance decisions to refuse treatment
The Act introduces specific requirements for when someone aged
18 or over decides to refuse future medical treatment which might
be offered to them when they’re unable to refuse or consent to the
treatment. These are termed advance decisions to refuse treatment
(referred to in this guide simply as ‘advance decisions’) and can
specifically include a decision to refuse life-sustaining treatment.
Life sustaining treatment
Treatment the health care provider believes is necessary to keep
someone alive. It can include artificial nutrition and hydration.
People can’t make an advance decision to request medical treatment
- they can only say what kinds of treatment they would refuse. Neither
can people make an advance decision to ask for their life to be ended.
The Mental Capacity Act introduces new rules and safeguards for
making advance decisions. Advance decisions are legally binding
and have to be followed by health professionals, as long as they
meet these rules, even if it results in the person’s death.
The person making the advance decision must have capacity to
do so. Advance decisions should make clear which treatments the
person is refusing (although they do not need to use detailed medical
terms) and explain which circumstances the refusal refers to.
An advance decision doesn’t have to be in writing, but writing
it down and discussing it with other relevant people (such as
healthcare staff and family) can help avoid later confusion or
challenges about its validity or scope.
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Advance decisions to refuse life sustaining treatment have
additional requirements. For example, they have to be written,
signed, witnessed and have a specific statement saying that the
advance decision is to apply even if their life is at risk.
Existing advance decisions or ‘living wills’
You may have clients who have already made an advance
decision or ‘living will’ as it is sometimes known. You should
advise them to check that it meets the new rules, particularly if it
deals with life-sustaining treatment. More detailed guidance will
be available at: www.dh.gov.uk/consent
Remember that people who are detained under the Mental Health
Act 1983 can be treated for mental disorder without their consent,
so they can also be given such treatment despite having an
advance decision to refuse the treatment.
If you need to advise a client on advance decisions you should
read the Code of Practice and look at the list of other sources of
information and contacts (at the back of this booklet) for other
organisations which can help.
Wishes and feelings about treatment and care
Under the new law people will also be able to write down or tell
others about their wishes and preferences about future treatment
and care, and explain the feelings and values that led to these
decisions. These statements can be about anything and can include
requests for certain types of treatment or personal preferences such
as having a shower rather than a bath, or wanting to sleep with
the light on. Such statements must be taken into account when
deciding what is in their best interests (particularly if they have been
written down) but they are not legally binding in the same way that
advance decisions are and they do not have to be followed if overall
it would not be in the best interests of the person.
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5. How else might the new Act affect my work?
Ill-treatment or wilful neglect of a person who lacks capacity
The Mental Capacity Act introduces a new criminal offence of
ill-treating or wilfully neglecting someone (of any age) who lacks
capacity. This is intended to deter people from abusing, ill-treating
or wilfully neglecting people who lack capacity. The offence will
apply to anyone who ‘has care of’ the person and can lead to
imprisonment or a fine.
This part of the Act comes into force from 1st April 2007.
If you think someone is abusing, ill-treating or wilfully neglecting
someone you should contact the police or social services.
Protection from liability for carers and professionals
When helping someone who lacks capacity, a carer or professional
may have to do something for them which could legally be, for
example assault or theft. For example, if a person lacks the capacity
to bath themselves and their carer does it for them, the carer
is potentially committing assault in touching them without their
consent, even though they weren’t harmed in any way.
These rules will apply to anyone who acts or makes decisions on
behalf of someone who lacks capacity. As an adviser, relatives may
ask you whether they are protected from liability for their actions,
or you may want to be sure that your own actions and decisions on
behalf of a client who lacks capacity are likely to be lawful.
The Act will offer carers and professionals protection from liability
so long as they have a ‘reasonable belief’ (see page 17) that the
person lacks capacity and their actions are in the person’s best
interests. This means that even if you can’t show that you did a full
capacity or best interest assessment in every instance, a belief that
is based on good reasons (not just an assumption), within the spirit
of the principles of the Act, could protect you.
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Carers and professionals will not be protected from liability if they
use restraint or restrict liberty, unless they do so because they
reasonably believe that it is necessary to prevent harm to the
person who lacks capacity. The degree of restraint must be in
proportion to the likelihood and degree of harm.
As such actions or decisions may be disputed, it is a good idea to
record any actions you take in relation to capacity matters clearly.
How detailed that will be may vary according to the seriousness of
the action.
For more information on the liability of carers and health professionals
please see the Code of Practice.
Taking part in research
The Act sets out a clear framework for many types of research
involving people who lack capacity to consent to taking part in such
research. If you’re advising someone who wants to know about
research, see the Code of Practice for more information or refer
them to a specialist adviser. Other information booklets in this set
also have information on this that you will find useful.
Resolving disputes and rights of appeal
If your client is unhappy with the result of a capacity assessment, or
decisions that have been made on their behalf (including those made
by their attorney or deputy), or the way they or the person they help
are being treated, you may need to help them resolve the dispute.
In most cases it should be possible to informally resolve the dispute
between the people involved. If this doesn’t work, then a more
formal route should be tried, such as making a complaint through
the organisation’s complaints procedure or complaining to an
ombudsman. In some situations such as disputes between family
members, mediation may help to find a solution. See page 38 for
useful contacts.
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If someone doesn’t agree with the result of a capacity test they
should raise it with whoever made the assessment. The assessor
will have to show they have applied the test correctly and stuck to
the five principles; if it is a professional who made the assessment
then they will also have to show that they had regard to the Code of
Practice.
Anyone who is unhappy about how an attorney or a deputy is
acting for on behalf of a person who lacks capacity (including the
person themselves) will also be able to raise their concerns with the
Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) (see page 30). This office will
also provide general information about disputes under the Mental
Capacity Act.
If a dispute can’t be resolved in any of these ways it may have to be
taken to the Court of Protection (See page 30). There will be more
information about how to access the Court of Protection and to
seek permission for court action from the OPG (see page 30) later in
2007. The OPG Customer Contact Unit should be your first point of
contact and will be able to give advice.
An adviser’s story, continued
I visited Ruby again to tell her what I’d found out. She and
Marie were very keen to take up the help available, and Ruby
was particularly excited about the meals on wheels option. The
problem remained, though, that Ruby was worried that her doctor
might try to get her to move again in the future. She said she
would be able to relax if he agreed that she was able to make day
to day decisions which allow her to stay at home.
At my last visit Marie had mentioned that she thought the GP was
just making a ‘knee jerk’ reaction because Ruby has dementia.
I was able to assure her that although her illness was relevant it
shouldn’t be the deciding factor about Ruby’s future.
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I talked them both through the new rules which say that if you
aren’t happy with someone’s assessment of your mental capacity
you start by taking it up with them direct. We agreed that Marie
will go with Ruby to her doctor and talk it through - it may just be
a misunderstanding or that he doesn’t know what help she has.
In the meantime I’ll get hold of the NHS complaints procedure to
see what we need to do if we need to take it up more formally.
Failing that, I told Ruby that if necessary, she could always take
her case to Court to appeal the GP’s assessment but think it
should be sorted well before then. Ruby seemed much more
relaxed than when I’d first visited, and was keen to get on with
choosing her next week’s menu.
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6. Who can help?
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)
The Act creates a new public official – the Public Guardian who will
be supported by a new Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The
main functions of the OPG will be to:
set up and maintain a register of LPAs and EPAs
set up and maintain a register of court appointed deputies
supervise court appointed deputies
provide information to the Court of Protection.
The OPG will provide a Customer Contact Unit which will be the
first point of contact for anyone wanting general information about
the Mental Capacity Act, advice on being an attorney or deputy and
on making or registering LPAs or registering EPAs.
The Court of Protection
The existing Court of Protection will be replaced by a new Court
of Protection (referred to in this guide as ‘the Court’), with wider
jurisdiction. Although the Court will be based in London, court
judges will be able to hear cases around England and Wales.
The Court of Protection will deal with all issues related to the
Mental Capacity Act, including the health and welfare and property
and affairs of people lacking capacity, and mental capacity issues
which are currently dealt with by other courts. It will be particularly
important in resolving complex or disputed cases, for example,
about whether someone lacks capacity or what is in their best
interests. Some decisions are so serious that they will always go to
the Court. These include decisions about serious medical issues
such as organ donation, sterilisation, abortion or possible death.
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Generally people will need to get the Court’s permission before they
make an application; however some groups of people will have the
right to take their case straight to court. The OPG will have more
information on this.
If your client has a complicated or serious case, it’s probably best for
you to refer them on to a solicitor who specialises in mental capacity
issues (see Useful Contacts on page 38). They can explain the rules
for applying to the Court and help them make an application.
When the new law comes in you can get more information on how
to access the Court of Protection from the OPG website or the OPG
Customer Contact Unit.
Court of Protection deputies
If, the Court decides that there is a need for ongoing involvement in
a case, for example, there is a need for someone to make several
decisions on someone’s behalf, they can appoint a ‘deputy’ (or joint
deputies).
The current system of receivers, appointed by the court to deal with
property and affairs of someone who lacks capacity, will end. Unlike
receivers, deputies could be appointed to deal with personal welfare
decisions or with financial ones, as specified by the Court. The scope
of their authority may be very limited or quite wide depending on the
amount of involvement the Court decides is needed.
Existing ‘receivers’
Until October 2007 if a person who lacks capacity has assets
such as property and shares, the current Court of Protection can
appoint a receiver to manage their financial interests. When the
Act comes in existing receivers will continue to act in the same
way but will be known as deputies for financial affairs. More
information will be sent to receivers nearer to October 2007.
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The person appointed as a deputy could be, for example, the carer
concerned, a professional (such as Director of Adult Services), or
financial institution, depending on the needs of the case. If you
have a client who wants to apply to become someone’s deputy they
should contact the OPG for more on this.
Court of Protection Visitors
The Court will be able to send official ‘Visitors’ to visit people who
have attorneys or deputies acting for them. Visitors can check on
someone’s general welfare or investigate suspected problems and
also offer support and advice. They will provide reports of their
visits to the Court or the Office of the Public Guardian.
The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service
At the moment if someone doesn’t have anyone to help and support
them make decisions you can refer them to a local advocacy
service. You will still be able to do this once the Act comes into
force, but the Act will also introduce a new IMCA service for certain
types of decision. This new service will be set up to provide extra
support to people who lack capacity and are particularly vulnerable
because they don’t have an attorney, deputy, close friends, family or
carers who can support them.
Generally IMCAs will be involved in decisions about serious
medical treatment provided by the NHS and changes in long
term accommodation if there is no one appropriate who can
be consulted. It will be the duty of the person in the NHS, local
authority (in England) or local health board (in Wales) who is making
the decision to involve an IMCA. An IMCA will not be the decision-
maker, but the decision-maker will have a duty to take into account
the information given by the IMCA.
If you have a client who has a major decision to make about one of
these issues you should treat the case in much the same way as
you do now, by referring them to the service which is involved in
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the decision, for example social services or the NHS, who should
themselves contact the IMCA service. Please see the Code of
Practice for more details.
In England, local authorities and the NHS also have powers to
extend the IMCA service to care reviews about accommodation and
adult protection cases if they think it would be beneficial. In Wales,
the National Assembly for Wales will announce later in 2007 if local
health boards and local authorities can extend the IMCA service to
care reviews and adult protection cases.
Although most of the Act does not come into force until October
2007, the IMCA service in England will be operational from April 2007.
On the same date other essential parts of the Act (the principles,
assessing capacity, determining best interests) will also be introduced,
but only in relation to supporting the operation of the IMCAs.
The IMCA service in Wales will become operational in October 2007.
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7. Jargon buster
Jargon What it means in the Mental Capacity Act
Advance decision
to refuse treatment
When someone who has mental capacity decides to
refuse future medical treatment which might be offered
to them when they’re unable to refuse or consent to
the treatment themselves. They can specify that it is to
apply even if life is at risk.
Attorney A person given power to act on a donor’s behalf
through an LPA or an EPA
Capacity Refers to the mental ability of a person to make a
particular decision at a particular time, whether minor,
like when to eat, or major, like whether to move house
Code of Practice Provides practical guidance on the Mental Capacity Act
and explains in more detail key features of the new law.
Certain people will have a duty to have regard to the
Code
Court of Protection The new specialist court which will deal with cases
relating to capacity issues
Court of Protection
Visitor
Someone sent by the Court or Public Guardian to
visit people who have deputies or attorneys acting for
them to make general welfare checks or investigate
suspected problems. They can offer support and
advice, and/or report to the Court or Public Guardian
Deputy A person appointed by the Court of Protection to deal
with a specific issue or range of issues to help a person
who lacks capacity who hasn’t got an attorney
Donor A person who appoints an attorney (by making an LPA
or EPA)
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Jargon What it means in the Mental Capacity Act
Enduring Power of
Attorney (EPA)
When someone (a donor) appoints someone else (an
attorney) to act for them with regard to their property
and financial affairs. New EPAs can’t be made after
1 October 2007 but existing ones will still be valid
Fluctuating
capacity
When a person has capacity to make their own
decisions at some times, but not at other times (for
example, during an acute phase of a psychotic illness)
IMCA (Independent
Mental Capacity
Advocate)
When a person lacking capacity has no personal
support such as family, friends, an attorney or deputy,
an IMCA will be appointed when there is a major
decision to be made about serious medical treatment
or a long-term care move, to help represent them and
help assess their best interests. An IMCA may also be
appointed for care reviews about accommodation and
for adult protection cases
Lacking capacity When someone is unable to make a particular decision
at a particular time because the way their mind or brain
works is affected (for example due to a stroke or brain
injury, mental health problem or a learning disability).
Many people will lack capacity in relation to some
issues or at some times, but have capacity in other
instances or at other times
Lasting Power of
Attorney (LPA)
Is a legal document where someone (a donor) appoints
someone else (an attorney) to make decisions about
certain things for them in the future. There are two
types of LPA:
Personal welfare LPAs which can only be used when
the donor lacks capacity to make relevant personal
welfare or health decisions
A property and affairs LPA which can be used
whether the person has or lacks capacity to make the
decisions for themselves unless they have specified
otherwise in their LPA
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Jargon What it means in the Mental Capacity Act
Public Guardian /
Office of the Public
Guardian (PG or
OPG)
Will monitor court appointed deputies, keep a register
of, and investigate concerns about, attorneys and
deputies. It will also provide general information about
the Act, advice on becoming a deputy, making LPAs
and registering LPAs and EPAs
Reasonable belief Before you can act on someone’s behalf you must
have a reasonable belief that your assessment of their
capacity is correct. This means that you must be able to
point to objective reasons for your belief
Receiver Someone appointed by the current Court of Protection
to manage the financial interests of someone who lacks
capacity. From April 2007 receivers will be known as
deputies for financial affairs’
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8. What if I want to know more about the
Mental Capacity Act?
If you would like to know more about the Mental Capacity Act you
can call 0845 330 2900 or email makingdecisions@dca.gsi.gov.uk
Other sources of useful information and guidance includes:
Title Available from
Other information booklets
like this one
You can view these electronically by
going to: www.dca.gov.uk/legal-policy/
mental-capacity/publications.htm
To order hard copies you can email:
reorder@inprintlitho.com
The Mental Capacity Act
2005
You can view this for free by going to:
www.dca.gov.uk/legal-policy/mental-
capacity/index.htm
Or you can order a hard copy from TSO
by calling 0870 600 5522 or emailing
customerservices@tso.co.uk
The Code of Practice for the
Mental Capacity Act
When the Code is published you will be
able to download it for free by going to:
www.dca.gov.uk/legal-policy/mental-
capacity/index.htm
You can order a hard copy from TSO
by calling 0870 600 5522 or emailing
customerservices@tso.co.uk.
Information on the IMCA
service, IMCA Pilots and
training materials for
IMCAs
www.dh.gov.uk/imca
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9. Some useful contacts
The following government departments are working together to
implement the Mental Capacity Act in 2007
Department What it is/does Contact
Department for
Constitutional
Affairs (DCA)
Responsibilities include
running the courts, and
improving the justice system,
human rights, information
rights law, policy on running
elections and modernising the
constitution
5th Floor Steel House, 11 Tothill St,
London, SW1H 9LH
www.dca.gov.uk/
E makingdecisions@dca.gsi.gov.uk
Department of
Health (DH)
Responsibilities include setting
health and social care policy
in England. The Department’s
work sets standards and
drives modernisation across all
areas of the NHS, social care
and public health
Wellington House, 133-155
Waterloo Road, London, SE1 3UG
www.dh.gov.uk
T 020 7210 4850
Public
Guardianship
Office (PGO)
The administrative arm of
the Court of Protection and
part of the Department for
Constitutional Affairs. It
provides financial protection
services for clients who are not
able to manage their financial
affairs because they lack
capacity
Archway Tower, 2 Junction Road,
London, N19 5SZ
www.guardianship.gov.uk
T 0845 330 2900
E custserv@guardianship.gsi.gov.uk
Welsh Assembly
Government
Develops policy and approves
legislation that reflects the
needs of the people of Wales
Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ
www.wales.gov.uk
T 029 2082 5111
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Contact details for a number of organisations that have an interest in the
Metal Capacity Act
Organisation What it is/does Contact
Action for
Advocacy
A resource and support
agency for the advocacy
sector, information, training
and advice
PO Box 31856, Lorrimore Square,
London, SE17 3XR
www.actionforadvocacy.org
Age Concern
England
The UK’s largest organisation
working to promote wellbeing
of all older people. It provides
vital services, information
and support to thousands of
older people - of all ages and
backgrounds
Astral House, 1268 London Road,
London, SW16 4ER
www.ageconcern.org.uk
www.accymru.org.uk
Information line 0800 00 99 66
Alzheimer’s
Society
The UK’s leading care and
research charity for people
with dementia, their families
and carers
Gordon House, 10 Greencoat
Place, London, SW1P 1PH
www.alzheimers.org.uk
Helpline 0845 300 0336
ASA ADRnow
A website providing
independent information
about a wide range of
alternative dispute resolutions
options, so that advisers and
the general public can make
an informed decision about
how best to resolve a dispute
www.adrnow.org.uk
ASA Advice
An independent, not-for-profit
website providing accurate,
up-to-date information on
rights and legal issues
www.advicenow.org.uk
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Organisation What it is/does Contact
British Medical
Association
(BMA)
BMA represents doctors from
all branches of medicine all
over the UK
BMA House, Tavistock Square,
London, WC1H 9JP
www.bma.org.uk
T 020 7387 4499
F 020 7383 6400
Carers UK
Looks after family, partners
or friends in need of help
because they are ill, frail or
have a disability
20/25 Glasshouse Yard, London,
EC1A 4JT
www.carersuk.org
T 020 7566 7637
F 020 7490 8824
Citizens Advice
Bureaux (CABx)
Help people resolve their
legal, money and other
problems by providing free
information and advice
Myddelton House, 115-123
Pentonville Road, London, N1 9LZ
www.citizensadvice.org.uk
T 020 7833 2181
You can find your local CAB by
visiting their website or looking
under ‘Citizens Advice Bureaux’ in
The Phone Book.
Community
Legal Service
Direct
CLS Direct is a free,
confidential service to help
people deal with their legal
problems. Their website has
a database of lawyers and
a range of legal information
leaflets
www.clsdirect.org.uk
T 0845 345 4 345
Down’s
Syndrome
Association
Provides information and
support for people with
Down’s Syndrome, their
families and carers, as well as
being a resource for interested
professionals
Langdon Down Centre, 2a Langdon
Park, Teddington, Middlesex,
TW11 9PS
www.dsa-uk.com
T 0845 230 0372
F 0845 230 0373
Foundation
for People
with Learning
Disabilities
Works with people with learning
disabilities, their families and
those who support them to
improve the quality of their lives
and promotes the rights, quality
of life and opportunities of
people with learning disabilities
and their families
Sea Containers House, 20 Upper
Ground, London, SE1 9QB
www.learningdisabilities.org.uk
T 020 7803 1100
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Organisation What it is/does Contact
Headway
– the brain injury
association
Promotes understanding of
all aspects of brain injury; and
provides information, support
and services to people with
a brain injury, their family and
carers
4 King Edward Court Service,
King Edward Street, Nottingham,
NG1 1EW
www.headway.org.uk
Helpline 0808 800 2244
Law Centres
Federation
The national body for a
network of community based
Law Centres. Law Centres
provide help in solving
everyday problems, such
as getting decent housing,
dealing with discrimination, or
obtaining the correct benefits
Duchess House, 18–19 Warren
Street, London W1T 5LR.
www.lawcentres.org.uk
T 020 7387 8570
Law Society
The regulatory and
representative body for
116,000 solicitors in England
and Wales
www.lawsociety.org.uk/
choosingandusing/findasolicitor.law
T 0870 606 6575
MENCAP
Charity working with people
with learning disabilities, their
families and carers
123 Golden Lane, London,
EC1Y ORT
www.mencap.org.uk
T 020 7454 0454
Mental Health
Foundation
A leading UK charity that
provides information, carries
out research, campaigns and
works to improve services for
anyone affected by mental
health problems, whatever their
age and wherever they live
Sea Containers House, 20 Upper
Ground, London, SE1 9QB
www.mentalhealth.org.uk
T 020 7803 1100
Mental Health
Lawyers
Association
A professional association
of mental health lawyers in
England and Wales. Their
website includes a database
of lawyers
www.mhla.co.uk
E admin@mhla.co.uk
MIND
Leading mental health charity,
working to create a better life
for everyone with experience
of mental distress. Provides
information and support
15-19 Broadway, Stratford, London,
E15 4BQ
www.mind.org.uk
Infoline 0845 766 0163
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Organisation What it is/does Contact
National Autistic
Society (NAS)
Champions the rights and
interests of all people with
autism and to ensure that
they and their families receive
quality services appropriate to
their needs
393 City Road, London, EC1V 1NG
www.autism.org.uk
Helpline 0845 070 4004
National Care
Association
(NCA)
Represents the interests and
provides services to support
small and medium sized
providers of social care in
England and Wales
45-49 Leather Lane, London,
EC1N 7JT
www.nca.gb.com
T 020 7831 7090
The National
Family Carer
Network
A network that provides a
focal point for issues affecting
families that include an adult
with a learning disability
Merchants House, Wapping Road,
Bristol, BS1 4RW
www.familycarers.org.uk
T 0117 930 2600
The National
Family Carer
Support Service
A network that provides
support and information for
family carers
Merchants House, Wapping Road,
Bristol, BS1 4RW
www.hft.org.uk
T 0117 930 2608
Patient Concern
An organisation committed
to promoting choice and
empowerment for all health
service users. Provides
information to service users
PO Box 23732, London, SW5 9FY
www.patientconcern.org.uk
E patientconcern@hotmail.com
The Relatives
and Residents
Association
An organisation for older
people needing, or living
in, residential care and the
families and friends left
behind. Offers support and
information via a helpline
24 The Ivories, 6-18 Northampton
Street, London, N1 2HY
www.relres.org
Helpline 020 7359 8136
RESCARE
The national society for
children and adults with
learning disabilities and their
families
Steven Jackson House, 31 Buxton
Road, Heaviley, Stockport, SK2 6LS
www.rescare.org.uk
T 0161 474 7323
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A guide for advice workers
42
A guide for advice workers
43
Organisation What it is/does Contact
RESPOND
Provides a range of
services for both victims
and perpetrators of sexual
abuse who have learning
disabilities and those who
have been affected by other
trauma. Their services extend
to support and training
for families, carers and
professionals
3rd Floor, 24-32 Stephenson Way,
London, NW1 2HD
T 020 7383 0700
F 020 7387 1222
www.respond.org.uk
Helpline 0808 808 0700
Scope
Disability organisation in
England and Wales, whose
focus is people with cerebral
palsy
6 Market Road, London, N7 9PW
www.scope.org.uk
T 020 7619 7100
Sense
Charity providing specialist
information, advice and
services to deaf blind people,
their families, carers and the
professionals who work with
them. Funded to develop
training materials which
address the advocacy issues
for deaf blind people
11-13 Clifton Terrace,
Finsbury Park, London, N4 3SR
www.sense.org.uk
T 0845 127 0060
F 0845 127 0061
Text 0845 127 0062
Solicitors for
the Elderly
A national organisation of
lawyers who are committed to
providing independent legal
advice for older people, their
family and carers
Room 17, Conbar House, Mead
Lane, Hertford, SG13 7AP
www.solicitorsfortheelderly.com
Turning Point
The UK’s leading social
care organisation, providing
services for people with
complex needs, including
those affected by drug and
alcohol misuse, mental health
problems and those with a
learning disability
New Loom House, 101 Backchurch
Lane, London, E1 1LU
www.turning-point.co.uk
T 020 7702 2300
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A guide for advice workers
44
Organisation What it is/does Contact
United
Response
A national organisation
creating opportunities and
services with people with
learning difficulties and people
with mental health problems
113-123 Upper Richmond Road,
Putney, London, SW15 2TL
www.unitedresponse.org.uk
T 020 8246 5200
F 020 8780 9538
Minicom 020 8785 1706
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Other booklets in this series include:
1 Making decisions about your health, welfare or finance.
Who decides when you can’t?
2 Making decisions. A guide for family, friends and other
unpaid carers
3 Making decisions. A guide for people who work in health
and social care
5 Making decisions. An Easy Read guide
These booklets are available in other formats on request.
To order:
T 023 80 878038 or 023 80 878036
F 023 80 528324
E reorder@inprintlitho.com
The booklets are also available online at:
www.dca.gov.uk/legal-policy/mental-capacity/publications.htm
The Mental Capacity Implementation Programme published
this booklet. It was written by the team at Advice Services
Alliance Advicenow.
© Crown copyright 2007
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