Mental Capacity Act (MCA)
We all make decisions about lots of
things in our lives, this ability is called mental
capacity. For a number of reasons, people may, on
occasions, have difficulties making all, or some,
decisions. People in this situation may be considered to
be lacking capacity for that specific decision.
On these pages you can find out about the Mental
Capacity Act , a new Act guiding decision making for
people who are lacking capacity. You can also access our
policies and procedures and links to a
variety of websites that can provide further information, help, support and advice.
the Mental Capacity Act?
The Mental Capacity Act is a law that came into force
in 2007. The Act was introduced to help people plan for a
future loss of capacity, and to protect vulnerable people over the
age of 16, who currently are unable to make all (or some) decisions
due to a lack of capacity.
A lack of capacity may be due to a
- Learning disability
- Mental health problem
- Brain injury
- Alcohol or drug misuse
- Side effects of medical treatment or any other illness or
What does the Act do?
Principles of the Act
Independent Mental Capacity Advocates
What relevance does
the MCA have for us?
The Mental Capacity Act places a legal requirement on
all Health and Social Care practitioners, in all directorates, who
work directly with service users. The Act introduces a
criminal offence against any person who either ill treats and/or is
wilfully neglects a person lacking capacity, with potential
fines and imprisonment.
What is the Borough
Bedford Borough is working with partner agencies to
put the Act into operation through:
- Provision of the new Independent Advocacy Service (IMCA)
for Bedford Borough and Luton in partnership with POhWER the
- Producing information on the Act for the Borough and all
- Guidance and
training for staff working for the council and
Mental Capacity Act contacts
Mental Capacity Act Coordinator
Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults Team
Bedford Borough Council
Bedford MK42 9AP
Tel: 01234 718342 (direct)
Fax: 01234 276076
When requesting assessments in accordance with MCA Deprivation
of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) please email: email@example.com
Links to further information on MCA
of Public Guardian is an agency with
responsibilities for England and Wales. It supports the
registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) and Lasting
Powers of Attorney (LPA), and the supervision of deputies appointed
by the Court of Protection.
Independent Mental Capacity Advocates for Bedford Borough. This is
a specific form of advocacy that was introduced in the Mental
Capacity Act 2005. T his Act gave some people who have been
assessed to lack capacity the right to be supported by an IMCA if
certain decisions are being made about their care. The IMCA role is
independent of the NHS and local authorities.
Mental Health Act Code of Practice
Capacity Act Code of Practice
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Code of Practice
the Mental Capacity Act
Mental health Act 1983 Code of Practice - Chapter 13 references the
interface between mental capacity and Deprivation of