Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act provides a framework to empower and protect people who may lack capacity to make some decisions for themselves.

The Mental Capacity Act make clear who can take decisions in which situations, and how they should go about this. Anyone who works with or cares for an adult who lacks capacity must comply with the MCA when making decisions or acting for that person.

This applies whether decisions are life changing events or more every day matters and is relevant to adults of any age, regardless of when they lost capacity.

The underlying philosophy of the MCA is to ensure that those who lack capacity are empowered to make as many decisions for themselves as possible and that any decision made, or action taken, on their behalf is made in their best interests.

The five key principles in the Act are:

  1. Every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and must be assumed to have capacity to make them unless it is proved otherwise.
  2. A person must be given all practicable help before anyone treats them as not being able to make their own decisions.
  3. Just because an individual makes what might be seen as an unwise decision, they should not be treated as lacking capacity to make that decision.
  4. Anything done or any decision made on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done in their best interests.
  5. Anything done for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms.

Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice

The Code of Practice supports the MCA and provides guidance to all those who care for and/or make decisions on behalf of adults who lack capacity. The Code includes case studies and clearly explains in more detail the key features of the MCA.

Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice (PDF 1.1MB)

Cod Ymarfer (PDF 2.15MB)

Mental Capacity Act booklets

OPG601 - About your health, welfare or finance - who decides when you can't?(PDF 0.41MB)

OPG602 - A guide for family, friends and other unpaid carers(PDF 0.36MB)

OPG603 - A guide for people who work in health and social care(PDF 0.29MB)

OPG604 - A guide for advice workers(PDF 0.24MB)

OPG605 - The Mental Capacity Act - Easyread(PDF 1.86MB)

OPG606 - The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) service(PDF 0.23MB)

Money Advice Service booklets

Help with managing money - if you or someone you care for lacks mental capacity (PDF 0.38MB)
No selling, no jargon - just the facts about help with managing money

Help looking after money - Easy Read guide (PDF 1.96MB)
No selling, no jargon - just the facts about help with managing money

Office of the Public Guardian
LPA registration times
Current LPA registration time is 9 weeks.

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