Mental capacity is the ability to make a decision.
This includes the ability to make a decision that affects daily life –
such as when to get up, what to wear or whether to go to the doctor
when feeling ill – as well as more serious or significant decisions.
It also refers to a person’s ability to make a decision that may have
legal consequences – for them or others. Examples include agreeing
to have medical treatment, buying goods or making a will.
The starting point must always be to assume that a person has the
capacity to make a specific decision.
Some people may need help to be able to make or communicate a
decision, but this does not necessarily mean that they
lack capacity to do so. What matters is their ability to carry out the
processes involved in making the decision – and not the outcome.
This guide to the Mental Capacity Act has been developed for families and has been clearly written in non complicated language so that they can understand how the Act affects them and those they care about. The link takes you to the guide and supporting videos.
A Practical Guide to Supported Decision Making
Supported-Decision-Making is when you support someone to make a decision for themselves.
It sounds simple but sometimes there’s quite a lot to it!
This guide is for anyone who wants to grow their confidence and gain clarity in their role in
upholding the rights of people with learning disabilities and all others in making their own
decisions. You may be a family member, self-advocate, a paid supporter or a friend. This guide is
for you, and we hope you find it helpful.
NHS- Mental Capacity Act
The NHS describes the Mental Capacity Act and many other aspects of Mental Capacity, lack of capacity and best interests decisions.
Gov.uk - Lasting Power of Attorney forms
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets someone (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help them make decisions or to make decisions on their behalf. This can be for property & financial affairs, health & welfare or both. The person has to have mental capacity to agree to a lasting power of attorney. This link takes you to the Gov.uk website for to make, register or end a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Please take advise if you are unsure if this is the option for your family.
Essex County Council - Looking after someone's affairs
The Essex County Council website has information about the Mental Capacity Act, Power of Attorney, Court of Protection and Appointeeship.
Rethink Advocacy - Self help resources
Rethink Advocacy are the commissioned service for advocacy in Essex. As well as information about advocacy, they have a range of self help information, including about the Mental capacity.