Good practice guidance on accessing the Court of Protection
Introduction and ADASS endorsement
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) have produced this guide to support access to the Court of Protection for people who may need this safeguard. It may be useful for:
- health and social care staff
- local authorities and NHS trusts
- Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs)
- the relatives and friends of people who may lack capacity to make key decisions.
This guide contains information about:
- when people may or must be supported to access the safeguard of the Court of Protection
- how cases can be taken to the Court of Protection
- what happens at each stage of the process
- other legal options (for example, judicial review).
This guide is based on interpretation of legislation and policy, and was developed and supported by SCIE and SCIE’s Mental Capacity Act (MCA) advisory group. Membership of the advisory group included representatives of the Department of Health (DH), ADASS, Action for Advocacy (A4A), the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
For more information about this guide or SCIE’s work on the MCA, please visit the SCIE MCA section.
Endorsement by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services Open
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) is the national organisation in England and Northern Ireland representing directors of social care in local social services authorities. (Directors of local social services authorities in Wales and Scotland have separate arrangements.) ADASS members are responsible for providing or commissioning, through the activities of their departments, the wellbeing, protection and care of hundreds of thousands of people, as well as for the promotion of their wellbeing and protection wherever it is needed. Close formal and informal links are maintained with the National Health Service and with national government in helping to shape and implement policy and social care legislation.
Within ADASS the work on supporting the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, including the additional Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, is located within our Mental Health Drugs and Alcohol Network. Greg Slay (West Sussex County Council) has been our lead officer in this work since 2005, recently and ably assisted by Lindsay Smith (Halton Council) and Richard Smith (Telford and Wrekin Council).
ADASS members continue to work in partnership with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), the Department of Health, the Office of the Public Guardian, the Care Quality Commission and many other organisations in improving practitioner awareness of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
The Mental Capacity Act provides an important legal underpinning for the work undertaken by local social services authorities in England in supporting adults who are in need of community care services. This new guidance, the final one in a series published by SCIE, is very welcome. It complements earlier practice guidance documents on both the commissioning and operation of statutory independent mental capacity advocacy services, and specific guidance on statutory advocacy in the context of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
This clearly written explanatory guidance on accessing the Court of Protection deserves a wide readership, and we wholeheartedly endorse and recommend it to you.
Richard Webb (Sheffield Council) and Jonathan Phillips (Calderdale Council) Co-chairs, ADASS Mental Health Drugs and Alcohol Network