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Reaction as Government Proposes Amendments to the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill

The Bill is progressing through Parliament, and reached the report stage this week (21st Nov).

Ahead of this milestone, the Government has now published its amendments to the Bill.

These amendments are described by Alex Ruck Keene as ‘long-awaited’ in his post on the Mental Capacity Law and Policy website .

Thankfully for the lay-person, Alex cites a concise 10-point summary of the amendments by fellow expert Tim Spencer-Lane. Worth reading!Thanks again to Lucy Series for tipping me off to the above in a blog on her Small Places site .

Actually, Lucy here is actually  introducing a guest blog by MCA expert, Lorraine Currie.

Lorraine gives a summary of how she sees things now. This is her analysis of where we have got to:

“…then we had the Law Commission draft Bill. In my opinion it lacked some clarity and was potentially more bureaucratic and complex but it did protect rights and have the person at the heart of everything especially with the added changes proposed to the MCA itself.

In July we were all quite shocked to read the Bill which was introduced to Parliament, not even a close cousin of the draft Bill.

We have lobbied unanimously about Rights, Roles and Responsibilities.

And we have been heard, it seems.

The person’s wishes and feelings will be heard, this will be made clear. The responsibility for selecting who carries out assessments, determinations, consultation will be made by the Responsible Body and Care homes managers will not be able to do this where there is a conflict of interests. Unsoundness of mind will revert to mental disorder and the Bill will include 16/17 year olds.

After momentary celebration I think there is still a need to pause and reflect and still a need to press on as the Bill enters report stage, with further amendments…”

*** *** ***

On reflection, space permits, so  it’s probably worth including here Tim Spencer-Lane’s 10-point summary of the government’s proposed amendments (cited above)

1. Extending the Liberty Protection Safeguards to 16 and 17 year olds

2. Replacing the term “unsound mind” with “mental disorder”

3. Explicitly stating that the cared-for person must be consulted with

4. Explicitly stating that the cared-for person’s wishes and feelings must be considered as part of the necessary & proportionate assessment

5. Requiring responsible bodies to decide if care home managers should arrange the assessments and statement or if the responsible body takes on these functions

6. Requiring that assessments cannot be carried out by someone with a financial conflict of interest

7. Confirmation that the responsible body arranges the pre-authorisation review

8. A duty to appoint an IMCA if a person doesn’t have an ‘appropriate person’ representing them, unless it is in the person’s best interests not to have an IMCA

9. Removing the requirement that a care home manager must notify the responsible body whether or not an IMCA should be appointed

10. Requiring that medical and capacity assessments must be completed by those with appropriate experience and knowledge.

No doubt more on this topic in coming weeks…

I

 

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