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Best Interest

Insight and understanding: Elderly woman smiling as she looks into the distance

DoLS restrictions and the right to object

In simple terms a deprivation can be described as a restriction, while a deprivation of liberty is a restriction on everyday living. The Mental Capacity Act enacts vital safeguards and protections an individual who can not consent to their care and treatment is is deprived of said liberties. It protects the individual through upholding their rights, monitoring any form of restriction in place and striving to ensure these are proportionate, justifiable and the least restrictive option. In today’s blog, we consider what these restrictions may include, and the importance of keeping the individual’s voice at the heart of any Best Interest decision.

Supporting capacity: woman being pushed in wheelchair, looking at the sun

Five key principles of the Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) is built around five key principles. To ensure best practice, it is useful to attach a copy of the five principles to any Mental Capacity Assessment, to be reviewed prior to the assessment in order to ensure the assessment is only completed if necessary and that appropriate support is put in place, while also respecting the individual and their Rights

Assessing capacity: lady and man in wheelchair wearing coats looking into the distance

Common errors in Mental Capacity Assessments

I’ve been involved with the field of Mental Capacity for many years now, both as an assessor and an advocate. In this time, I’ve encountered a whole range of common errors and mistakes that come up time and time again.

These errors can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life, and ability to make decisions for themselves. Not only that, but they also leave open the risk that if the Mental Capacity decision is ever to be challenged, then it will quickly be dismissed and overruled by governing bodies such as the Court of Protection.

However, thankfully, most of these errors are easily avoidable and simple to resolve with adequate reflection, preparation and the correct training.