BMA guidance

Mental Capacity Act toolkit

This toolkit acts as a prompt to doctors when they are providing care and treatment for people who lack, or who may lack, the mental capacity to make decisions on their own behalf.

Location: England Wales
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Tuesday 13 October 2020
Topics: Ethics
Justice scales article illustration

What you'll get from this guide

  • A practical guidance on how to assess capacity and the basic principles in the Mental Capacity Act (2005).
  • Information on assessing best interests, dispute resolution, use of restraint and deprivation of liberty.
  • Advance refusals of treatment and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).

 

How to use this guide

The tool kit is designed to raise doctors’ awareness of the Mental Capacity Act, and to provide an aid for good decision making.

It is not intended to provide definitive guidance on all the issues surrounding the Act. In cases of doubt, legal advice should be sought. 

This tool kit applies to England and Wales.

In Scotland, decision making in this area is covered by the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.

In Northern Ireland, decision making is currently governed by the common law, although at the time of writing change was anticipated.

 

Assessing mental capacity tool

The assessing mental capacity tool aims to help you assess whether a patient has the capacity to make that decision.

This practical, easy to use tool will enable you to break down the assessment into a number of discrete, legally-compliant steps, as laid down in the Mental Capacity Act for England and Wales.

Use the tool

 

Topics
  • Guidance on the Mental Capacity Act
  • Basic principles of the Mental Capacity Act
  • Assessing capacity
  • Best interests according to the Mental Capacity Act
  • Acts in connection with care or treatment
  • Lack of capacity and restraint
  • Care and treatment amounting to deprivation of liberty
  • Advance decisions refusing treatment
  • Patients lacking capacity and research
  • Lasting powers of attorney
  • Court of Protection and court appointed deputies
  • Independent mental capacity advocates
  • Relationship with the Mental Health Act
  • Dispute resolution
  • Confidentiality and information sharing
  • Useful resources