For further local and national information, guidance tools and training please visit Shropshire Council's Mental Capacity Act page
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides the legal framework to support decision making and where required, due to a lack of capacity at that particular time the ability to make specific decisions on behalf of the adult (16 and over) in their best interests.
An assessment of capacity must be based on the person’s ability to make a specific decision at the time it needs to be made, not their ability to make decisions in general. Someone can lack capacity to make one decision but be able to make others. Everyone must apply the five guiding principles of the Mental Capacity Act:
- An assumption of capacity
- Supporting people to make their own decisions
- People have the right to make eccentric or unwise decisions
- Where someone lacks capacity staff must act in the person's best interests
- Where someone lacks capacity any action, we take on their behalf must generally be the least restrictive option
The Act established criminal offences of ill-treatment and wilful neglect in respect of someone who lacks capacity.
The Act makes provision for people to plan for their future:
- Making Advance decisions to refuse treatment.
- Making Lasting power of attorney for financial affairs or health and wellbeing