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Mental Capacity Act 2005 in Practice

Learning Materials for Adult Social Workers

The Mental Capacity Act (the MCA) empowers and protects individuals who may lack capacity to make decisions about their care and treatment. Its principles of person-centred, least restrictive care represent the very best of social work practice. Evidence shows that awareness and implementation of the MCA is poor in some parts of the country and some corners of the health and care system. Much work over the last year has been done to begin to address this problem. The CQC is paying much greater attention to the MCA during inspections and the Social Care Institute of Excellence has launched a new online MCA Directory containing many useful materials for professionals.

In my role as Chief Social Worker for Adults, I am particularly passionate about the real benefit the MCA can make to people’s lives. I strongly believe that while implementing the MCA is everyone’s responsibility, social workers have the expertise and capability to really build momentum and support for the culture of care the MCA makes possible. This CPD guide forms part of a package of work to help support social workers realise their full potential on the MCA. I would urge all social workers to consider how they might use this guide to reflect upon how you can develop your skills in supporting those individuals who may lack mental capacity.