Mental Capacity in Practice

"What good looks like"

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About the Resource

Published: Monday 04 January 2021

Safeguarding Adult Reviews continue to tell us that compliance with the Mental Capacity Act needs to improve. 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), in her role as a SAR author. They are equally committed as I am to achieve change 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 in 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 has vast experience of working with people who present with complexities and focuses on 'unwise decision' making and proportionality.

I see this resource as the 'go to' place for practitioners to support the application of the MCA to practice.

Once subscribed to, the resource will be available as a guide to refer to as and when needed for up to a year from date of subscription.