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Health and wellbeing

Mental capacity act 2005

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 for England and Wales came into force in 2007. The Act generally affects people aged 16 or over and provides a framework to empower and protect those who may lack capacity to make some decisions for themselves, for example people with:

  • dementia
  • learning disabilities
  • mental health problems
  • stroke or head injuries

or anyone who may lack capacity to make certain decisions.

The Act makes it clear who can take decisions, in which situations and how they should go about this. It also enables people to plan ahead for a time when they may lack capacity. The Act will cover major decisions about someone’s property and affairs, healthcare treatment and where the person lives, as well as everyday decisions about personal care (such as what someone eats), where the person lacks capacity to make the decisions themselves.