The Mental Capacity Act (2005) came into effect from April 2007 in England. The Act provides a statutory framework to empower and protect vulnerable people who are not able to make their own decisions. The provisions of the Act directly affect a great many people. The training of Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHP), and Best Interest Assessors (BIA) and the new role of Responsible Clinician have particular relevance for social work.
We have drawn together a number of useful resources and weblinks relating to the Mental Capacity Act. Please feel free to post and share other useful resources and guidance.
The Care Services Improvement Programme (CSIP) have a dedicated website to disseminate further information as it becomes available. Training materials are to be developed and CSIP will be jointly hosting road shows to share more detailed information. There are a number of useful resources to download from this site including a best practice tool to help statutory services assess their state of readiness for the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act.
The Department for Constitutional Affairs has published the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice (302 pages) which can be downloaded from the DCA website
The Code of Practice for the Mental Capacity Act was formally issued by the Lord Chancellor on 23 April 2007. It provides guidance and information on how the Act will work on a day to day basis for anyone who works with or cares for people who lack capacity, including family, friends and unpaid carers. Certain groups of people are legally required to have regard to the Code when acting or making decisions on behalf of people who lack capacity.
Robert Brown, Visiting Fellow and Keith Brown, Director of the Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work at Bournemouth University have published a paper on the Impact of Recent Changes in Mental Health Law and their Implications for Workforce Development which can be downloaded here. Brown and Brown Mental Health Law 2008.doc (173.50 kb)
More detailed information is contained in The Social Workers Guide to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Brown B and Barber P (2008) published by Learning Matters.
If you work with people who use services and carers a free learning pack has been published by embrace learning which contains learning points and useful facts about the Mental Capacity Act. which can be downloaded here. Embrace Mental Capacity Act Learning Pack.pdf (143.83 kb)
Embrace Learning also offer a useful free online self-appraisal tool. which will assess your own skills and knowledge in respect of the Mental Capacity Act.