Health and Social Care

Mental Capacity Act (2005)
This topic was taught to a 3rd year student in the second placement of the final year of their study programme. My area of practice is continuing care of older adult with cognitive dysfunction (Dementia)-therefore the Mental Capacity Act (2005) is mainly applicable during assessment for mental capacity and decision making during their time of care. The student was first informed that, the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) (2005) was designed to protect and empower people who may lack mental capacity to make informed decision about the care and treatment they receive. This is applicable to anyone 16 years old and above. And people who might fall under these criteria may include: those being assessed and diagnosed of having Dementia (cognitive impairment-due to memory loss), with a severe learning disability, a severe brain injury, a serious mental health condition that affects capacity, a sudden and severe stroke and due to an unconsciousness caused by anaesthesia/anaesthetic or due to a sudden accident. The student was made aware that, someone having one of the above conditions does not necessarily mean they lack the mental capacity to make inform decision; therefore the outlined key principles which states:
  * An individual has the right to make his or her own decisions. Health and care professionals should always assume that an individual has the capacity to make an informed decision for themselves, unless it is proved otherwise through a mental capacity assessment.
  * An individual must be given the minimal help to make a decision for themselves. This might include, for instance, providing the person with information in a format that is easier for them to understand.
  * Even someone makes a statement that is considered to be an unwise decision to others; this must not be treated as lacking the capacity to make that decision. However, everyone has the right to make their own life choices where they have the capacity to do so.