24 January 2019

The UK government are revising the Mental Capacity Act, and YOU can be part of the change

Earlier today, the Ministry of Justice announced they will be revising the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice - and you can put forward your suggestions regarding the changes made. 

What is the Mental Capacity Act?

The Mental Capacity Act is designed to protect and empower people who may currently lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their care and treatment. It also facilitates people who have the capacity to make preparations for a time when they may lack capacity in the future.

Since the Act came into force in 2007, the Code of Practice has provided practical guidance regarding its implementation. The Code offers examples of best practice to both carers and practitioners, who have a formal duty to adhere to the Code. It also serves as a fundamental piece of guidance to the friends and family of the individual, to enable them to better understand the practical insight the Act offers to those who lack capacity.

How will it be changing? 

Following the publication of the final report from the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983, the Government has announced that it will introduce a new Mental Health Bill to transform mental health care. 

The latest Call for Evidence will seek to establish the extent to which the current Code of Practice reflects changes in case law and lessons learned through practical use of the Code of Practice over the last 11 years.

On Gov.uk it states:

"It is important that we ensure that the Code remains relevant and places individuals at the very heart of the decision-making process. The questions in the call for evidence are designed to inform the Government’s decision-making on which aspects of the Code require revision."

You can share your thoughts and provide feedback on how we can best refine and improve the Code of Practice to reflect current needs, by following this link. 

As healthcare professionals, if you haven't already, you'll likely encounter the Act during your career. If any, what changes to the Mental Capacity Act would you see implemented? Let us know in the comments section.