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Supporting people who may lack mental capacity

The council promotes the rights of people who may lack capacity regarding specific areas of their life. To this end the council works within the framework of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the code of practice.

The ability to understand and make a decision when it needs to be made is called ‘mental capacity.' The Mental Capacity Act covers people in England and Wales who can’t make some or all decisions for themselves.  Mental capacity is a central issue in adult safeguarding cases and is always given a high priority in safeguarding work.

The Mental Capacity Act sets out 5 principles:

  • a person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that he lacks capacity
  • a person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help him to do so have been taken without success
  • a person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because he makes an unwise decision
  • an act done, or decision made, under the Mental Capacity Act for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done, or made, in their best interests
  • before the act is done, or the decision is made, regard must be had to whether the plan is going to be delivered in a way that is less restrictive of the person's rights and freedom of action

Further information regarding the Mental Capacity Act can be found on GOV.UK.

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