COVID-19 resources on mental capacity

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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.[First published 9 April 2020; last updated 7 September 2020 to include updated information about professional visits to care homes and hospitals].

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