The Mental Capacity Act.

Written by Clare Melvin

It is always good practice to check how much a person has understood of what is happening to them whatever age they are.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is the law that says when a person can make their own decisions and when other people can make decisions for them. Mental capacity is whether or not someone has the right mental skills to be able to make a decision. If someone has mental capacity, they can make decisions for themselves. If someone needs help to decide, other people have to give them help. This is called supported decision-making.  If someone cannot decide with help, they do not have mental capacity. In this case, someone else decides with them in their best interest.

Changes to Mental Capacity Act

An independent review of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) is being undertaken to look at: (a) how the legislation is currently used; (b) its impact on service users, families and staff; (c) and make recommendations for improving the legislation and related practices. You can read the policy paper here and the Bill here but the interim report is yet to be published.  An easy read guide to the changes is available from


You can have your say on proposed amendments to the Mental Capacity Act. have produced an easy read guide about what the proposed changes will involve and survey about your views of these changes (the guide is available even if you don’t want to complete the questionnaire).

Get the guide and complete the survey here. You have until the 5th of September to have your say! 

Free Webinar on the Changes

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is hosting a free webinar to discuss the forthcoming changes to the Mental Health Act (MHA) and the Mental Capacity Act (MCA). A distinguished panel of policy and practice expertise in both the MCA and the MHA will help practitioners, academics and others reflect on the important changes in how people’s rights are protected at vulnerable points in their lives. It is being held on Friday 14th September between 1pm and 2pm.  You can book a place to join the live event here and a video download will also be available afterwards. 

Assessing Capacity

Capacity to consent must be assumed unless assessed otherwise. In assessing capacity it is essential to remember that each decision is time logo-top-2location and decision specific. A variety of communication tools should be employed to aid a person’s understanding in order to gain a full picture of their understanding such as signs, photos, videos, music and books beyond words materials. These will assist health professionals to get care right alongside following the 5 main principles of the Mental Capacity Act (2005). Changing Care, Healthier Futures have a guide to checking a person’s understanding – available here.

LD in the News

  • @IndieAndyUK (worth a follow on twitter!) spoke to the Mirror about the challenges of having Autism – read the story here.
  • Following the finding that social media is failing people with learning and developmental disabilities (see LD News in GLLDCOP blog Aug 9th 2018 ) the government has announced new funds to boost the diversity of people working in digital and technical jobs, including underrepresented groups and disabled people – read the press release here.
  • HIV is as common for adults with developmental disabilities as it is for those without yet little is known about how to educate and support this group of individuals. ASD+HIV have constructed a survey that aims to address this gap – read more about the project and complete the survey here and contribute to this much needed area of research.

See more LD and ASC news on our twitter feed @glldcop and our facebook group


  • ySOTSEC-ID – two-day Keep Safe facilitator trainingKeep Safe is a CBT based intervention programme specifically developed for young people (12 years +) with learning and developmental disabilities who display harmful sexual behaviour(s). The next 2 day Keep Safe Training event will be held in London on 17th and 18th October 2018 – find out more here.
  • BILD Restraint Reduction Network: Wednesday Webinars.  BILD are launching a Circuit-Board-Bold-Facebook-Ad-1-300x157new series of webinars called the Wednesday Webinar. These sessions will take place every two months with an exciting programme of guest speakers, starting on Wednesday 5 September 2018 with the Restraint Reduction Network Chair, Professor Joy Duxbury. The webinars are free to join and will run from 12pm until 1pm. You can sign up here and find out about future speakers here.


  • NAS Women & Girls Conference 2018.  The National Autistic Society are running a female focused conference in London, 30th October 2018.  The event will bring together researchers, practitioners and autistic women to explore issues specific to women with autism, share the most recent findings and give tips on the latest best practice.  See the full programme and book your place here.
  • Learning Disability Today Conference, London. The annual event welcomes all with accessible talks consisting of three main topic streams (1) Autism & Learning Disability, (2) Health & Welbeing, (3) Policy & Practice.  The CPD certified conference is being held at the ILEC Conference Centre, Earls Court, on 28th November 2018. Find out more and book your place here.Greater London Community of Practice
  • Sign up to the Greater London Learning Disability Community of Practice free launch event! 7th November 2018 at the Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury. Come along and join the new community providing opportunities for people with learning disabilities, families, carers and professionals. Find out more and Book your place here.


Don’t forget to join our GLLDCOP facebook group and follow us on Twitter @glldcop


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close