Agencies raise awareness of the Mental Capacity Act

Posted on: 5 February 2016

Care agencies are raising awareness of the Mental Capacity Act, following concerns highlighted by a House of Lords select committee that too few people are aware of it or understand it.

The concern, held too by professionals in Devon, is that the Act, which provides protection to people who are unable to make their own decisions, isn’t recognised widely enough by the public or indeed by many in the care profession.

Devon and Torbay’s Safeguarding Adults Boards are planning a week of activity commencing Monday 8 February, to tell people about the Act.

They’re planning a Mental Capacity Act conference on Thursday 11 February, to be attended by care professionals from across the region, and are launching nine short videos aimed at informing the public about the Act.

The videos break down the Act into small, easily digestible, clips, and are available to watch online.

Nick Rudling, Chairman of the Mental Capacity Act sub group for the Devon and Torbay Safeguarding Adults Boards, says:

“There’s an estimated 2 million people in England and Wales who may lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves, for whom the Mental Capacity Act is relevant.

“This could be due to dementia, learning disability, brain injury, mental health condition, a stroke, unconsciousness caused by an anaesthetic or sudden accident, or a temporary loss of capacity caused by alcohol or drugs.

“To help people understand it, we’ve produced nine short videos that explain it  all in its simplest form, so that everyone can find out what the Act is and how it can help them.

“Practice across Devon and Torbay is first rate, but it is recognised that awareness of the Act by professionals generally could be better.

“The conference will help professionals better understand the Act, and improve their ability to respond to patients, carers and families with full knowledge of the law.

“I would like to encourage people across Devon and Torbay to have a look at the short films, and to share them with their family and friends.”

For more information about the Mental Capacity Act 2005, visit Devon County Council’s website.

Posted in: DCC Homepage | Health and Wellbeing