Mental Capacity Act 2005

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 exists to support people who can make decisions for themselves to do so and to provide a legal framework for families or professionals to make decisions for people who are assessed as lacking mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves. The primary purpose of the MCA is to promote and safeguard decision-making within a legal framework. It does this in two ways:

  • By empowering people to make decisions for themselves wherever possible, and by protecting people who lack capacity by providing a flexible framework that places individuals at the heart of the decision-making process.
  • By allowing people to plan ahead for a time in the future when they might lack the capacity, for any number.

NEW! Mental Capacity Act 2005 in Practice Guidance

This guidance was developed by multiagency professionals to promote and support a better awareness and understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and outline the responsibility is of everyone who works with adults.

View the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice

The legal framework provided by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is supported by this Code of Practice (the Code), which provides guidance and information about how the Act works in practice. The Code has statutory force, which means that certain categories of people have a legal duty to have regard to it when working with or caring for adults who may lack capacity to make decisions for themselves.

Mental Capacity – Further Information:

This guide, developed by Bournemouth University and Burdett Trust for Nursing, provides a wealth of information around mental capacity including:

  • Decision making
  • Legislation and policy
  • Concept of mental capacity
  • Best interests explained,
  • Supported decision making
  • Deprivation of liberty – human rights
  • MCA in clinical decisions for care and treatment
  • MCA and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) role