Mental Capacity

On this page you will find a suite of useful resources provided by a variety of organisations to provide guidance and support you in your work with Safeguarding Adults and use of the Mental Capacity Act 2005


Mental Capacity Act 2005 – This is the Mental Capacity Act 2005 legislation on the Government’s website

Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice - Code of practice giving guidance for decisions made under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

The code of practice gives guidance to people who:

  • work with people who can’t make decisions for themselves
  • care for people who can’t make decisions for themselves

It says what you must do when you act or make decisions on behalf of people who can’t act or make those decisions for themselves.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) says certain people must think about the code of practice when they act or make decisions on the other person’s behalf. This includes:

  • an attorney appointed under a lasting power of attorney
  • a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection
  • an independent mental capacity advocate
  • a person doing research approved in accordance with the MCA
  • a person who acts in a professional capacity for, or in relation to, people who can’t make decisions for themselves
  • a person who is paid to act for or in relation to people who can’t make decisions for themselves

Nottinghamshire County Council

Mental Capacity Act (MCA) – Link to the Local Authority’s page on MCA

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards for Professionals - Link to Local Authority page for those acting in a professional capacity. Everyone acting in a professional environment, or is being paid for acts in relation to a person who lacks mental capacity, has a legal duty to have regard to the codes of practice. This page includes links to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) Code of Practice; Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Deprivation of Liberty multi-agency Policy and Procedure; Assessment forms for Best Interest and Mental Health Assessors.

Factsheet: Making Decisions: What happens if you can’t – Downloadable factsheet explaining the two stage test of capacity process for those caring for adults where there is a concern about capacity or decision making and support might be required. 

Mental Health and Wellbeing - Around 1 in 4 people experience mental health problems every year. It is a widespread and common issue affecting people from all walks of life, and yet we often find it hard to talk about. This page contains easy-to-digest information on everyday Mental health and wellbeing, including tips for good mental health, information on a variety of conditions, and links to other good sources of support around mental health.

Advocacy - Advocacy services can provide you with support to help your views get heard and have your say. An advocate can speak on your behalf if you are unable to speak for yourself. This page tells you when an advocate might be appropriate for your situation and includes links and details to access advocacy services in Nottinghamshire.

Optimum Learning Resources - Optimum Workforce Leadership: Optimum has designed a range of learning resources based on the needs they have identified from talking to their members and working with their stakeholders & partners from the social care and health sectors.

Essex 39 Chambers

Chambers’ Court of Protection team is at the forefront of the developing jurisdiction of the Court of Protection, due in part to its historic strength in public and mental health law. Members are frequently instructed on behalf of claimants, relatives, statutory agencies, private bodies and the Official Solicitor in cases concerning welfare, financial and serious medical treatment decisions, and the deprivation of liberty safeguards.

Mental Capacity Law Cases – A selection of summaries of Legal cases involving Mental Capacity Law and the Court of Protection.

Mental Capacity Law Resources – A selection of resources, including cases, reports/ newsletters, articles and guidance notes.

Brief guide to completing capacity assessments - This purpose of this document is to provide health and social care practitioners with a brief overview of the law and principles relating to the assessment of capacity.

SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence)

MCA Directory - The MCA Directory helps to raise awareness about the Mental Capacity Act (MCA), including the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). You will find useful information and tools to help understand or implement it. There is material here for people who may be subject to the Act’s provisions, and for professionals from a range of backgrounds.

Introducing the MCA - The Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force in 2007. It is designed to protect and restore power to those vulnerable people who may lack capacity to make certain decisions, due to the way their mind is affected by illness or disability, or the effects of drugs or alcohol. This page introduces the legislation and includes links to MCA webinars and videos to support your learning and practice.

MCA Training - SCIE courses help providers and their staff to develop an understanding of the responsibilities and duties around the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). This training is for workers involved in the care, treatment and support of adults who may lack capacity in making life decisions. Please note: not all scie eLearning courses are free of charge.

Pan-London NHS: MCA Lead Toolkit - An objective of the London NHS Commissioner MCA Board is to support commissioners to implement MCA assurance and compliance. MCA leads have identified a number of tools/documents to support them to gain MCA assurance. These tools have been compiled into a toolkit for NHS MCA leads in line with the MCA compliance framework. The MCA framework outlines what is required to ensure MCA compliance from a provider and commissioner perspective.

National Mental Capacity Forum - The National Mental Capacity Forum is a joint Ministry of Justice and Department of Health and Social Care initiative.

Its purpose is to work with stakeholders from health and social care, together with those from other sectors (for example, finance, legal, police, housing) to identify complementary actions which member organisations can pursue, especially at a local level, to improve implementation of the MCA.

National Mental Capacity Forum Blog - The National Mental Capacity Forum is a joint Ministry of Justice and Department of Health and Social Care initiative, working with stakeholders from health, social care and other sectors to improve implementation of the Mental Capacity Act. These blogs have been supplied by National Mental Capacity Forum leadership group and feature best practice advice.

LGA (Local Government Association)

Mental Capacity Act Easy Read Guide – An easy-read guide to the Mental Capacity Act. If people find reading difficult, they will need lots of support to read and understand this guidance.

Care Providers and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 - This paper is aimed at board members of care providers. It has been published alongside a guide for providers: ‘Mental Capacity Act: A brief guide for providers of Shared Lives and other community services’. Board members may wish to refer to the full guide for further information on the detail of the Act.

Mental Capacity Act 2005: a brief guide for providers of Shared Lives and other community services - The LGA, NHS England and the Care Provider Alliance have published a guide to the Mental Capacity Act. This is aimed at supporting care providers providing community services.

Promoting less restrictive practice – reducing restrictions tool - Reducing restrictions tool – this tool aims to help practitioners identify restrictions in a person’s care, in order to examine whether the care is the ‘least restrictive’ possible, as required by the Mental Capacity Act. It can also be used as part of care planning to ‘promote liberty and autonomy’ in care plans.

Putting the Mental Capacity Act principles at the heart of adult social care commissioning - The purpose of this guidance is to embed the MCA specifically throughout the commissioning process, by the promotion of an individual’s rights to autonomy and choice balanced with protection where necessary, which is inherent in the MCA. Adherence to MCA compliant commissioning will promote the wellbeing principle of the Care Act.

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