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Do you know about the Mental Capacity Act 2005?

Over the last couple of weeks I have spent the evenings studying with the Social Care Institute for Excellence. In order to support my clients I wanted to gain a greater understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in order to advocate with and for them.

Principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005

1. You must assume a person has capacity unless it is established they lack capacity. This should not be based on behaviour, age, health condition etc. Capacity is decision and time-specific.

2. A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help them to do so have been taken without success.

3. People can make unwise decisions. As long as they have capacity, understand the information which they would need to make the decision and can use it to weigh up the options.

4. Best interests - if a person lacks capacity for a decision, it must be made in their best interests.

5. Limit restrictions - any decision made in their best interest must be the least restrictive of their rights and freedoms.

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“Both the Government and the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) recommend that when a patient or service user chooses to visit a health or care practitioner who is unregulated, only those on an accredited register are consulted”. (Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health, November 2015).


General Medical Council guidance to doctors confirms they can refer patients to practitioners on Accredited Registers, such as CNHC's.

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