Mental Capacity Act: primary medical services

Page last updated: 12 May 2022
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If your service provides care or support for adults who have (or appear to have) difficulty making informed decisions about their care, treatment or support, you may need to refer to the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

This applies to all types of service provider.

The Mental Capacity Act helps to safeguard the human rights of people aged 16 and over who lack (or may lack) mental capacity to make decisions. This may be because of a lifelong learning disability or a more recent short-term or long-term impairment resulting from injury or illness. This includes decisions about whether or not to consent to care or treatment.

Your staff need to be able to identify situations where the Mental Capacity Act may be relevant and know what steps to take to maximise and assess a person’s capacity. If a person’s capacity is impaired, staff must know how to ensure that decisions made on the person’s behalf are in their best interests.

Read more about the Mental Capacity Act.