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The Mental Capacity Act 2005

The Mental Capacity Act 2005
A Guide for Practice

Third Edition

September 2015 | 320 pages | Learning Matters

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its accompanying Codes of Practice continue to have a huge impact on mental health professionals working with some of the most vulnerable people throughout England and Wales. Whether you are a Social Worker, Best Interest Assessor, Mental Health Nurse, Doctor, Psychiatrist or an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP), understanding the Mental Capacity Act and its implications for practice is essential and this indispensable guide will help you do just that.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is designed to protect and empower individuals who may lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their care and treatment and this bestselling book will provide invaluable support to busy practitioners needing to draw on the Act in the following ways:

- Sets out the full text of the main body of the Act for quick reference

- Contains practical advice and checklists for working with the Act and the main principles and Codes of Practice

- Shows how the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act interact so that statutory requirements can be put into practice.

Written in a style accessible to all professionals, this fully updated Third Edition has been revised and enlarged to incorporate revisions to the Mental Health Act Code of Practice 2015 and the crucial impact of the Supreme Court decisions in the Cheshire West cases.

Background to the Mental Capacity Act 2005
The Key Features of the Mental Capacity Act 2005
The Code of Practice (Sections 42-43)
Principles (Section 1)
What Is Lack of Capacity? (Sections 2 and 3)
Best Interests (Section 4)
Protection for Those Making Decisions (Sections 5 to 8)
Lasting Powers of Attorney (Sections 9 to 14 and 22-23)
Deputies and Declarations (Sections 15 to 21)
Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment (Sections 24 to 26)
Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs) (Sections 35 to 41)
The Court of Protection and the Public Guardian (sections 45 to 61)
Other Issues
Links with Other Areas of Law
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
The Interface between the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act
The Distinction between Restriction of Movement and Deprivation of Liberty
Appendix: 1 The Mental Capacity Act 2005
Appendix: 1A DOLS Regulations on Representative
Appendix: 1B DOLS Assessment Regulations
Appendix: 2 Helping people to make their own decisions
Appendix: 3 Assessing capacity
Appendix: 4 Best interests checklist
Appendix: 5 Multiple choice answers
Appendix: 6 Lasting Powers of Attorney and advance decisions
Appendix: 7 Identifying a Deprivation of liberty
Appendix: 8 The DOLS procedures

Meets the needs for teaching strand on the Mental Capacity Act within social work law module. Easy to read and follow text.

Mr Scott Massie
Social Work Department, Liverpool Hope University
April 5, 2016

As the social work profession has become more regulated it is essential for all students to gain a thorough understanding and knowledge of legislation that underpins the profession. For those undertaking Last Placements in the area of Adult MH, this text is a most useful guide and reference; making the Mental Capacity Act 'understandable' whilst ensuring that the process and application of this legislation is clear.

Mrs Nieca Elizabeth Boynton
Social Science, University of Hull
September 1, 2015

Superbly well-laid out and easy to read and seek required guidance. a top-class guide in every respect

Mr mark w gibson
Faculty of Health & Social Care, Hull University
December 8, 2015

An excellent resource for any student interested in this niche area of care/practice.

Mr Ian Hamilton
Health , Northumbria University
September 30, 2015

A concise an up-to-date essential guide

Dr Andy Wills
School of Social Work, University of Plymouth
September 30, 2015

This is an excellent text which builds upon the previous editions. It is current and refers to the most significant developments in case law in this imprtant area of practice.

Mr Paul Rimmer
Social Work , Edge Hill University
November 23, 2015

This is an extremely comprehensive text which I feel would be a essential resource within the library. However as an key text, I feel it would be more suitable for post qualifying students rather than the cohort on my course.

Mrs Kate Blake-Holmes
School of Social Work, University of East Anglia
September 22, 2015

Excellent guide however possibly more suitable post reg rather than pre reg. gives very clear guidance and breaks down into manageable sections

Miss sarah louise burns
Faculty Of Health And Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University
October 3, 2015

Very relevant, well laid out reference book for best interests assessors with the added benefit of being cheaper than other mental capacity guides.

Mrs Rachel Hubbard
School of Health and Life Sciences , University of the West Of England
September 3, 2015

A good update on previous editions. Has been helpful for students on placement and will continue to be.

Mr Stefan Brown
Department of Health and Social Care, Royal Holloway, University of London
December 8, 2015
Key features

Key Need 1
The Mental Capacity Act is a complex piece of legislation that many practitioners struggle to put into a practice context.

Key Feature 1
The book goes through the Act in a systematic way, explaining the key regulations and Codes of Practice and how they are applied to everyday practice.

Key Benefit 1
This approach will directly benefit busy practitioners who need something practice-focused and easy to navigate

 Key Need 2
Mental Health Professionals and AMHPs must demonstrate a close understanding the five principles of assessing capacity if they are to operate within the law

 Key Feature 2
The authors include a checklist and explain the five principles while using a series of multiple choice questions to reinforce learning

 Key Benefit 2
Readers who understand the five principles will be able to operate effectively and within the law

 Key Need 3
Many practitioners struggle to understand the complicated relationship and interface between the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act

 Key Feature 3
The authors demonstrate how the Mental Capacity and Mental Health Act work together through recent Case Law

 Key Benefit 3
Practitioners will develop a clearer understanding of this interface and avoid inconsistent practice

The key changes in the new edition will be:

• The ruling in the Supreme Court on  Cheshire West and Chester Council v P and P&Q v Surrey, 2013 
(these cases will clarify what amounts to a deprivation of liberty);

• Revised guidance on the interface between the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act
(e.g. the implications of AM v SLAM and SoSH, 2013)

• The process of assessing capacity  (PC and NC v City of York Council, 2013)

There will also be new material on the following subjects:

  • analysing the operation of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in practice;
  • advance decisions, and when is incapacity not covered by the Mental Capacity Act.


Robert Brown

Robert Brown is an independent trainer and a social worker and was a founding Director of Edge Training and Consultancy Ltd. He provides refresher training for AMHPs and helps to train Section 12 Approved Doctors and Approved Clinicians in England and Wales. He provides consultation and supervision for AMHPs in Cornwall, Hampshire, Portsmouth, West Berkshire and the Isle of Wight. Rob has published widely in the field of mental health and mental capacity law; co-authoring The Mental Health Capacity Act 2005: a Guide to Practice as well as Mental Health Law in England and Wales. He was a Mental Health Act Commissioner from 1992-2010 and the... More About Author

Paul Barber

Paul Barber qualified in 1976. Until December 2003 he was a partner at Bevan Ashford Solicitors (now Bevan Brittan) where for many years he led the firm’s NHS Litigation Department, increasingly specialising in the field of Mental Health and Human Rights law. He is now a Consultant to the firm and a freelance trainer and lecturer. He is extensively involved in training Approved Social Workers and lecturing on Section 12 Approval courses for doctors. He also provides training for the Mental Health Act Commission and numerous NHS Trusts and Health Authorities. More About Author

Debbie Martin

Debbie Martin is Unit Leader and lecturer on the new Approved Mental Health Professionals course in South West England. She currently practices as an Approved Mental Health Professional in Wiltshire and has worked as a social worker and mental health manager in Manchester. Debbie also teaches on section 12 Approval courses for doctors and provides training for the Mental Health Act Commission and various NHS Trusts, Health Authorities and Local Authorities. More About Author

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