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Updated guidance: The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and DoLS during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

The Department of Health & Social Care has released updated guidance in relation to the The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

From the Department of Health & Social Care website: 

Summary of key points
This guidance is only valid during the COVID-19 pandemic and applies to those caring for adults who lack the relevant mental capacity to consent to their care and treatment. The guidance applies until withdrawn by the Department of Health and Social Care. During the pandemic, the principles of the MCA and the safeguards provided by DoLS still apply.

Decision-makers in hospitals and care homes, and those acting for supervisory bodies will need to take a proportionate approach to all applications, including those made before and during the pandemic. Any decisions must be taken specifically for each person and not for groups of people.

Where life-saving treatment is being provided, including for the treatment of COVID-19, then the person will not be deprived of liberty as long as the treatment is the same as would normally be given to any person without a mental disorder. The DoLS will therefore not apply.

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