Mental Capacity Act 2005

A lady looking sad

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 exists to support people who can make decisions for themselves to do so, and to provide a legal framework for families or professionals to make decisions for people assessed as lacking the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves. The primary purpose of the MCA is to promote and safeguard decision-making within a legal framework. It does this in two ways:

  • By empowering people to make decisions for themselves wherever possible, and by protecting people who lack capacity by providing a flexible framework that places individuals at the heart of the decision-making process
  • By allowing people to plan ahead for a time in the future when they might lack the capacity, for any number of reasons

Southampton Safeguarding Partnership Team have developed guidance around mental capacity and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Developed in partnership with a wide range of agencies, this guidance aims to develop knowledge and understanding around mental capacity and promote best practice. You will find FAQs, toolkits and flow charts to support you in your decision making and identify when and where to seek further support.

View the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice.

The legal framework provided by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is supported by this Code of Practice (the Code), which provides guidance and information about how the Act works in practice. The Code has statutory force, which means that certain categories of people have a legal duty to have regard to it when working with or caring for adults who may lack capacity to make decisions for themselves.

Mental Capacity – Further Information:

The Mental Capacity Toolkit, developed by Bournemouth University and Burdett Trust for Nursing, provides a wealth of information around mental capacity including:

  • Decision making
  • Legislation and policy
  • Concept of mental capacity
  • Best interests explained,
  • Supported decision making
  • Deprivation of liberty – human rights
  • MCA in clinical decisions for care and treatment
  • MCA and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) role