Mental Capacity Act
What is it?
The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) protects your money, health and welfare, if you can't make all your own decisions.
- You may be unable to make all your own decisions because of dementia, stroke or brain injury or a learning disability or mental health problem.
- You may have the capacity to make everyday decisions, but not to make larger, more complex decisions.
- You may have the capacity to make decisions one day but not the next.
- Your capacity to make decisions might improve or get worse over time.
For more information on mental capacity, see our leaflet
How does it affect family, friends and unpaid carers?
The Act protects your rights and is relevant to anyone who has a relative or friend who may lack capacity. It covers major decisions about someone's property and financial affairs, health and welfare and where they live.
- It covers everyday decisions about personal care, when the person can't make those decisions for themselves.
- It clarifies the process for caring for people who may lack capacity.
- It clarifies how decisions should be made for your relative or friend if they are unable to make those decisions for themselves.
- It sets out when you should be consulted about decisions made on behalf of your relative or friend.
- It sets out how your relative or friend is protected when others are making decisions on their behalf.
- It enables you to plan for a time when you may lack capacity.
You can find out more about mental capacity and planning ahead, including making and registering a Lasting Power of Attorney on the gov.uk website.
What if a person has nobody to support them?
Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Service
The main duty of the IMCA service is to provide an independent safeguard to support people who lack capacity to make important decisions for themselves and who have nobody to support them.
Advocacy Trust Gloucestershire provides a joint IMCA service in Gloucestershire. Visit the County Community Projects (CCP)Opens new window to find out more.
Information for professionals
- Gloucestershire Mental Capacity Act 2005 Multi-Agency Policy, Procedure and Guidance (April 2014) (PDF, 596.2 KB)
Mental Capacity Act E-learning
Visit MCA - E-learning to sign up to e-learning.