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Weighing up a tough decision: Man sat thinking on sofa

Mental Capacity still not well understood

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There are several key organisations that exist to protect people’s rights with regards to the Mental Capacity Act and its application. These include the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and Court of Protection (COP). However, while each of these bodies has an important role to play, we should remember that it is every person’s responsibility to raise a concern if a suspected breach of the Act has taken place.

Central Middlesex Hospital, part of London NW University Hospital Trust

Patient dies as NHS Trust fails to comply with the MCA

On the 29th December 2021, Jenny Kitzinger and Celia Kitzinger shared a challenging and troubling case on the website Open Justice Court of Protection.  This case demonstrates the lack of knowledge and application of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) by London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, who continue to be rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ by the Care Quality Commission

In this case, the patient, Mrs W, had her nasogastric tube removed by medical staff on 10th November 2021. Mrs W had previously assigned the role of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Health and Welfare to her children. However, her children were not consulted in this process, and the clinicians declined to reinstate the feeding tube when challenged. The Trust then proceeded to withdraw hydration from Mrs W as well.