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Decision-making and mental capacity

NICE guideline

This guideline covers decision-making in people 16 years and over who may lack capacity now or in the future. It aims to help health and social care practitioners support people to make their own decisions where they have the capacity to do so. It also helps practitioners to keep people who lack capacity at the centre of the decision-making process.

This guideline should be read in conjunction with the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It is not a substitute for the law or relevant Codes of Practice.

It does not cover Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards processes.

Who is it for?

Health and social care practitioners working with people who may (now or in the future) lack mental capacity to make specific decisions.

Independent advocates, with statutory and non-statutory roles.

Practitioners working in services (including housing, education, employment, police and criminal justice) who may come into contact with people who lack mental capacity.

People using health and social care services who may (now or in the future) lack mental capacity to make specific decisions, as well as their families, friends, carers and other interested parties.