15 March 2016, marks the UK’s first National Mental Capacity Action Day, with the aim of increasing awareness of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and highlighting good MCA practice. The event has been developed as a result of the work of Ilora Finlay, Chair of the National Mental Capacity Forum, who states its purpose is to:
- Profile current best practice from around England and Wales,
- Identify MCA improvement priorities for the coming year,
- Gather commitments from attendees for projects and work to improve MCA implementation at the frontline.
Mental Capacity Action Day provides an excellent opportunity to promote MCA awareness within your service and to ensure your staff have the knowledge that they need in this key area. Read on to learn more about the opportunities to use this event to improve the care you provide.
The MCA covers important decision making relating to a person’s property, financial affairs and care. It also applies to everyday decisions, including those relating to personal care, what to wear and what to eat and drink. It is essential that all staff supporting people who lack capacity, have an understanding of the MCA appropriate to their role. This includes not only managers and senior staff but those who work in non-clinical and volunteer roles.
By using National Mental Capacity Action Day as an opportunity to promote awareness and share knowledge of MCA, you will be able to improve your team’s confidence when dealing with MCA issues and provide an opportunity to answer any questions that may arise.
4 Steps to Improve Awareness of the MCA on National Mental Capacity Action Day
- 5 Key Principles. Provide your staff with an overview of the 5 key principles of the MCA by watching the Social Care Institute for Excellence’s (SCIE) video, ‘Using the MCA key principles in care planning’, available for free on their website.
- Webinar. Take part in the SCIE’s MCA webinar on 11 February. The webinar will introduce you to a range of learning materials and provides the opportunity to ask questions.
- Assessing Capacity. Introduce your team to the Assessment of Mental Capacity Audit Tool (AMCAT), as a way of learning more about mental capacity and how to audit their own assessments. The materials and audit tool can be found on their website.
- Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). Provide your staff with a comprehensive overview of DoLS via the Department of Health’s e-Learning for Healthcare programme, with their range of training modules.