Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
There are a number of details that need to be established before a mental capacity assessment is carried out. Without this information, the test may not be valid, and the outcome may be challenged at a later date.
In the final part of our series on the Adults with Incapacity Act for Scotland (AWI), we look at important issues relating to power of attorney (PoA), guardianship, intervention orders and monitoring bodies.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a trusted person (or persons) assigned to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks capacity to make decisions for themselves. Crucially, LPAs are assigned by an individual while they still have capacity, as a means of preserving their wishes should they become unable to make decisions for themselves at some point in the future.
An Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) is a statutory role under the Mental Capacity Act (2005) that supports a person who lacks capacity to express their wishes around a particular decision.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables a person to make the advanced decision to assign a person (or persons) to help make decisions, or to make decisions on their behalf if unable to in the future. This role is set out in the Mental Capacity Act and provides greater legal rights than the position of Next of Kin.
If someone is unable to demonstrate mental capacity to assign a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), and is unable to manage either their health and welfare or property and financial affairs, then an application can be made to the Court of Protection (COP) to assign a deputy to said role if appropriate.
Anyone can conduct a Mental Capacity Assessment. However, context is important, and a professional may be required for complex decisions. This will help ensure assessments are carried out in the correct manner, and that they are valid (i.e. reliable and trustworthy) in order to protect both the assessor, and the person being assessed.
The Mental Capacity Act is designed to empower a person’s voice, protect their rights and provide safeguarding measures, alongside direction of practice, if a person is determined to lack capacity for a particular decision at a certain time. In this blog, we explore the role of the Mental Capacity Act around future decisions relating to healthcare, finance and assigning an LPA.
In our mission to Promote, Partner and Protect, we place a great emphasis on helping teams develop their skills around the Mental Capacity Act, Mental Capacity Assessments, and related areas such as Best Interest Decisions and LPA. In today’s blog we want to shed a little light on what this can look like in everyday practice…