Mental Capacity in Practice

"What good looks like"

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Get good at applying the Principles of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA), and you will achieve much more in your work

Published: Sunday 05 January 2020

The MCA principles, the assessment and best interests process come into play when a decision has to be made; and the decision to be made will sit within statutory duties, such as those under the Care Act , Mental health Act and also, ‘Consent to Treatment’. The Act places the person at the centre of decision-making; who they are, their choices, views, their wishes and feelings are important considerations in the decision to be made. Inevitably a conversation takes place. This enables relationship building, hearing them and working together with them to achieve their outcomes, resulting then, in less distress for them, and fewer crises for services. Getting good at using the skills needed to apply the Principles of the MCA can also result in improved outcomes in other areas of work such as Making Safeguarding Personal, Person Centered Care Planning and Positive Risk Taking. Achieving compliance with the MCA now will reduce the impact felt by services when the Liberty Protection Safeguards have to be implemented.


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About This Resource

Published: Thursday 09 January 2020

About a year ago I was in a post where I read many Safeguarding Adult Reviews. They demonstrated that 12 years on staff had still not understood the Mental Capacity Act. I wanted to change that. I have known Alex Ruck Keene (a barrister) and Steve Chamberlain (an MCA/MHA expert) for nearly as long as the Act has been in force. In fact we met because of it. I have known Suzy Braye (a professor in social work), for the last 3 years. I met her in her role as a SAR author. They are equally committed as I am to achieve compliance with the Act and they kindly agreed to contribute to this course, to bring about change. Employers have invested much resource into training staff. In spite of which the staff have mostly been unable to incorporate the learning into their day-to-day work. It seems that they need ongoing support when using the MCA in practice. This resource offers them the opportunity to dip into areas they need support with as and when they need it; as well, to use it as a training resource individually or in groups, team meetings and supervision. This resource demonstrates the practical application of the principles and also the assessment and best interests process using a variety of media e.g. case scenarios, quiz, worked out examples, acted out scenes, podcasts and videos. In this programme, Alex talks about what judges want to see in relation to the principles. Suzy informs about the gaps in relation to the MCA that she has identified in carrying out Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SAR) and in research that she completed with Michael Preston-Shoot; she gives a good example of the use of MCA in a SAR. Steve provides an analysis of mental capacity and best interests in relation to cases. Gail Dee, a psychologist, outlines a good practice example where ‘practicable steps’ were taken to enable decision making with a person with learning disabilities. Melba Gomes focuses on unwise decision making. We will continue to update the resource to keep it current, including any changes related to the MCA when the revised Code of Practice is published. I see this resource as the 'go to' place for support to practitioners in relation to the application of the MCA to practice. We will continue to add resources on different subjects to support practice.


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Best Interests Assessor Refresher via Webinar

Published: Monday 04 May 2020

The Best Interests Refresher (2 sessions) ** Session 1 – What is a deprivation of Liberty?** 1) Revisiting DoLS: Legislation and Underpinning Case Law 2) DoLS Case Law update 3) DoLs Guidance and Coronavirus 4) DoLS in Hospitals (touching on the MHA/MCA interface) **Session 2 - Completing a Best Interests Assessment (with reference to case law)** 5) Assessing Best Interests 6)Realistic risk appraisals 7)Proportionality 8)Recommendations and Conditions 9) Choosing an RPR The Cost of the Course is £100/- Dates: Weekdays 15th May 1-4, and 22nd May 1-4 12th June 10-1, and 19th June 10-1 3rd July 10-1, and 10th July 10-1 Weekends 16th May 1-4, and 23rd May 1-4 13th June 10-1, and 20th June 10-1 **To register for the Course, please contact me at enquiries@mmghealthandsocialcare.com** About the Trainer: My name is Melba Gomes. I have been a Best Interests Assessor since 2009. I was the chair of the London MCA/DoLS network early into DoLS coming into force. I have been working in the field for the last 12years. I was a DoLS authoriser/signatory from 2009 to 2019 and in that role I have quality assured assessments and identified learning for BIAs. I have also previously provided BIA Refreshers Training. I have attended the Court of Protection in relation to DoLS challenges. In me, as a Trainer, you have someone who is in the frontline, currently working in the NHS and like you, I am also a practicing BIA... I can as well provide a BIA refresher and MCA/Safeguarding related training and workshops to teams, please get in touch to discuss