Useful new Mental Capacity Act directory

03 March 2015

Sometimes, people may lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their care and treatment. The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) is designed to protect and empower people. The act has been designed to support and to enhance the rights of people who may lack mental capacity.

A new directory of MCA resources, published today by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), is an online collection of up-to-date MCA materials. Examples of good practice, and other useful content, have been submitted by professionals across all the sectors that use the MCA. All the materials that are included in the directory have been quality-assured by a panel of experts, coordinated by SCIE.

The MCA Directory also helps to raise awareness about MCA issues, including the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). You will find useful information and various tools to help understand or implement it. There are links to leading blogs in this area, as well as to the Social Care Online database of research and journals.

SCIE’s Chief Executive, Tony Hunter, says:

This is a great new resource if you want a quick journey to quality-assured MCA resources. It’s vital that staff working with people, who may lack capacity, fully understand the implications of the Mental Capacity Act. We hope the directory will help staff to explore the sometimes difficult decisions that have to be made about capacity. The resources in the directory will be invaluable to staff working in health, social care and housing – and we have also made links with some key organisations within the financial sector.

Justice Minister Simon Hughes says:

The Mental Capacity Act is a vital piece of legislation and I am determined that it is used and understood properly. That is why we are setting up a new independent National Mental Capacity Forum which will help raise awareness of the act. This new directory is very important as it will provide those who work with people who lack mental capacity much needed advice and support.

Lady Hale, Deputy President of The Supreme Court, says:

The SCIE MCA Directory will be a welcomed single point of access for good quality MCA resources. It will support staff who often have to ensure that people who may lack capacity are properly supported to make decisions and have their human rights upheld.

Lorraine Currie MCA and DoLs Manager at Shropshire Council, says:

As a Manager of both MCA and DoLS I welcome this new resource. To have a place to direct practitioners to is great. I am enthusiastic about the future development of the Directory and expect that it will evolve into something bigger and better as time goes on. This is a good way to share both good practice and resources which will save both time and money. Overall I think this is a great way to embed the MCA across the health and care workforce.

A Department of Health spokesperson says:

This new Directory is a great step forward in supporting professionals to get the guidance, toolkits and materials they need to make sure the Mental Capacity Act is used effectively to support vulnerable people. We encourage people to explore these resources and continue to submit their own materials to SCIE.

MCA Tailored for professions

There’s material for a number of groups: Care workers, social workers, health professionals, housing, the police, the finance sector, multi-agency partnerships, and for people who may lack capacity, along with their family and friends.

Feedback needed

The Directory will always benefit from more material. The greater the number of resources, the more likely it is that the MCA is widely and properly implemented. New MCA materials can be sent to us at

The directory was commissioned by the Department of Health. National organisations who have collaborated and endorsed the guide include: The Office of the Public Guardian; The Association of Directors of Social Services; NHS England; The Care Quality Commission; Skills for Care; The College of Social Work; and Compassion in Dying.

Mental Capacity Act 2005 training and consultancy

SCIE training and consultancy can help providers ensure they and their staff comply with the requirements of the MCA legislation and CQC requirements. All our trainers and consultants are experts in their field. Contact us at or on 020 7535 0917 for an informal discussion about how we might help.

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