COVID-19 resources on mental capacity

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Webinar recording: Testing, capacity and COVID-19 – shedinar

National Mental Capacity Forum (NMCF) look at the law, dilemmas and good practice in testing, focusing in particular on those with impaired decision-making capacity.

Last updated on hub: 21 July 2020

Working within the Mental Capacity Act during the coronavirus pandemic

Care Quality Commission

Guidance for care providers on how to apply the Mental Capacity Act during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The resource considers the issues that should be considered when thinking about care and treatment that might involve restrictions because of Coronavirus; the cases where DoLS authorisations have already been granted; and the impacts of the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Last updated on hub: 22 June 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): looking after people who lack mental capacity

Department of Health and Social Care

Brings together emergency guidance for health and social care staff in England and Wales who are caring for, or treating, a person who lacks the relevant mental capacity during the coronavirus outbreak. The guidance ensures that decision makers are clear about the steps they need to take during this period. It focuses on new scenarios and potential ‘deprivations of liberty’ created by the outbreak. During the outbreak, the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and the safeguards provided by the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) still apply. The MCA provides protection for people who lack or may lack the relevant mental capacity to make decisions about different aspects of their life. The DoLS are an important part of this act and provide further safeguards for those who need to be deprived of their liberty in order to receive care or treatment in a care home or hospital, but do not have the capacity to consent to those arrangements. [Published 9 April 2020. Last updated 15 June 2020]

Last updated on hub: 16 June 2020

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance

Department of Health and Social Care

Emergency guidance for health and social care staff in England and Wales who are caring for adults who lack the relevant mental capacity to consent to their care and treatment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. This document provides additional guidance to supplement 'The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic', which was published in April 2020. It includes guidance on: testing someone who lacks the relevant mental capacity; providing life-saving treatment to someone who lacks the capacity to consent; hospitals and care homes; and using emergency public health powers when someone who lacks relevant capacity needs to be isolated because they have symptoms and are not following public health advice.

Last updated on hub: 01 June 2020

Webinar recording: Remote assessments during the COVID-19 crisis

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Alex Ruck Keene, Lorraine Currie and Chelle Farnan from the National Mental Capacity Form (NMCF) discuss how the law works in terms of remote assessment and the practicalities during COVID-19.

Last updated on hub: 01 June 2020

Legal guidance for mental health, learning disability and autism, and specialised commissioning services supporting people of all ages during the coronavirus pandemic

NHS England

This document provides advice on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the use of the Mental Health Act and supporting systems to safeguard the legal rights of people receiving mental health, learning disabilities and specialised commissioned mental health services. It covers key issues in relation to: the Mental Health Act 1983; the Mental Capacity Act 2005; the Care Act 2014 and restraint and restrictive practice. It also includes specific considerations for specialised mental health services, learning disability and autism services, and for mental health and the criminal justice system. The guidance is for commissioners, providers, social workers, local authorities, experts by experience, clinical experts, independent chairs for Care and Education and Treatment Reviews, and others who may be involved in pathways of care. The document will be regularly updated to reflect the rapidly changing context. This is the second version of the guidance updated on 19 May 2020.

Last updated on hub: 14 May 2020

Emergency Code of Practice: Coronavirus Act 2020 Mental Capacity (Deprivation of Liberty) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland

The Coronavirus Act 2020 and temporary Regulations makes amendments to the Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 and the supporting Regulations. The temporary provisions relax some of the requirements of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, to ensure that persons can still be deprived of liberty during the pandemic crisis when staff availability may be significantly reduced. This Code of Practice provides practical guidance on how the amendments operate. Emergency forms and a reporting template for Health and Social Care Trusts have also been created.

Last updated on hub: 28 April 2020

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Department of Health and Social Care

Emergency guidance for health and social care staff in England and Wales who are caring for adults who lack the relevant mental capacity to consent to their care and treatment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. The guidance is designed to minimise additional pressures on hospitals and care home and ensures that decision makers are clear about the steps they need to take. It focuses on new scenarios and potential ‘deprivations of liberty’ created by the outbreak. The guidance states that it may be necessary during the COVID-19 Pandemic to "to change the usual care and treatment arrangements of somebody who lacks the relevant mental capacity to consent to such changes" and that changes to a person’s care or treatment in these scenarios will not constitute a new deprivation of liberty. The guidance includes a decision-making flow chart for decision makers in hospitals and care home. The guidance will apply until withdrawn by the Department. [Last updated 29/05/2020].

Last updated on hub: 14 April 2020

MCA and the COVID-19 crisis

Social Care Institute for Excellence

This quick guide looks at what protections the MCA gives people, both during the COVID-19 crisis and in more typical times.

Last updated on hub: 31 March 2020