Mental Capacity in Practice

"What good looks like"

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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.