MCA and National Mental Capacity Forum (Video)
Baroness Finlay, Chair of the National Mental Capacity Forum, describes the Mental Capacity Act and the five principles that underpin it.
Video transcript Open
The act is there to empower people to make decisions and support them when their capacity for making decisions is impaired.
It means you have to look at what that individual needs and it is specific to a decision at a specific time.
It’s not a blanket judgement over their mental capacity.
The five principles of the act underpin the whole act.
I think it’s interesting to remember them with the five fingers of your hand.
First of all, presume somebody has capacity unless you can prove that they don’t.
Secondly, remember that people might need support to make a decision.
They might need their hearing aid in, be in a quiet environment, not be tired, not be frightened might need their glasses on, might need things simply explained.
And thirdly, remember, that’s the one peaking up, that people can take unwise decisions.
We all take unwise decisions sometimes but we have capacity to do it.
But when somebody lacks capacity, the fourth and the fifth come in and that is really an awesome power in your hand.
The fourth one is when you take a best interests decision on behalf of that person.
Think what they would want as that decision.
Get all the information you can, consult people.
And when you make that decision, the fifth one which is that it should be the less restrictive option.
You cannot keep people under your thumb even if it’s easier for you.
The forum is aimed to bring together the people who’ve got a particular interest in improving the application of the Mental Capacity Act everywhere across all sectors.
That’s not just health and social care.
That’s in finance sectors, in banking in shops.
Everywhere across society.
But it is also aimed to not stigmatise people, decrease the fear of the Mental Capacity Act and help people realise that it applies to all of us in society when we’re faced with somebody who lacks capacity for a particular decision.
So we welcome anyone who is working to disseminate and improve application of the Mental Capacity Act.
The information of the forum is logged on the SCIE website.
And there is a specific section on mental capacity.
There is a really good video on there.
There are resources on there for people to draw down on and they can find a link there and register that they are interested in being involved in the Mental Capacity Forum.