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Ensuring Compliance with the Mental Capacity Act including the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Niall Fry, MCA and DoLS Lead, Department of Health discussed ensuring compliance with the Mental Capacity Act including the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards at today"s conference. In his presentation Niall discussed:

  • DoLS: ensuring compliance and recent developments
  • findings into the use of the Mental Capacity Act
  • improving understanding of DOLs and reducing the restraint and restriction of vulnerable people lacking capacity
  • moving forward: strengthening monitoring

Niall Fry"s full presentation is available for download at the end of this page.

In his presentation Niall stated:

"The MCA is an ambitious piece of legislation which aims to ensure every person who lacks capacity is supported to make decisions for themselves in so far as they are able, and that when they can"t make decisions for themselves, then decisions are made in their best interests and protect them in the least restrictive way…. To treat the MCA like a tick box exercise is to misunderstand the principles upon which it is based. This is reflected in the report written by the HoL as well as the CQC"s guidance."

-The principles of the MCA are ambitious and far reaching”

-The principles of the MCA should be thoroughly embedded in they way all medical and social care professionals work every day. The MCA is not a piece of legislation removed from everyday front line work.”

-Compliance with the MCA cannot be achieved if it is approached as a tick box exercise. It is a cultural ethos of centring care around the individual.”

-Using the mental capacity act is, quite simply, affording people who lack capacity the same opportunities to make big and small decisions about their own lives.”

-Good practitioners are applying the principles of the MCA every day when they consult patients and services users about their feelings and thoughts on their care and treatment.”

-It is not complicated or difficult to ensure compliance with the principles of the MCA.”

-Cheshire West judgement – huge impact on LA"s in terms of DoLS – CQC made it clear that LA"s and providers should do all they can – do nothing approach is unacceptable but they will not be punished for 'technical breaches"”

-The challenge: a system that delivers safeguards that benefit the individual, but which can be delivered at a population level and which reinforces/ aligns with the wider health and care system”

Legislative Change?

  • Determined not to rush such an important decision. We want to ensure the Law Commission can consult as widely as possible. This is a rare opportunity to take a comprehensive approach.
  • The Law Commission is very much in the driving seat – DH awaiting their recommendations and confident these will address stakeholder"s concerns.
  • The final report is due at the end of 2016. Then Government will need to identify Parliamentary time and subject it to debate and scrutiny.

-Principles of DoLS are right – all humans are equal, all deserve equal protection of their liberty and rights”

Future events of interest:

Implementing the national objective to end Prone/Face Down Restraint:

Examining Restraint Positions in Practice
Tuesday 22 September 2015
ICO Conference Centre, London

Self Neglect & Adult Safeguarding
Monday 5 October 2015
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Caldicott Guardian Training Course
Monday 12 October 2015
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Adult Safeguarding Enquiries & Safeguarding Adults Reviews
Monday 12 October 2015
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Improving Mental Health Crisis Care
Thursday 15 October 2015
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: Ensuring Compliance in Practice
Tuesday 17 November 2015
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Download: Niall Fry"s full presentation

7 July 2015


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