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Agencies raise awareness of the Mental Capacity Act

A screenshot from one of the short films produced for the week.

Torbay and Devon care agencies are raising awareness of the Mental Capacity Act this week (Monday 8 February to Friday 12 February). The Act provides protection to people who are unable to make their own decisions.

The launch of this awareness week follows concerns, highlighted by a House of Lords select committee, that the Act isn’t recognised widely enough by the public or indeed by many in the care profession.

The Safeguarding Adults Boards from Devon and Torbay share these concerns, and are using this week of activity to tell people about the Act.

The Boards have planned a Mental Capacity Act conference on Thursday 11 February, to be attended by care professionals from across the region, and have launched nine short videos to informing the public about the Act.

The videos break down the Act into small, easily digestible, clips, which are available to watch here and here.

Nick Rudling, chairman of the Mental Capacity Act sub group for the Devon and Torbay Safeguarding Adults Boards, says: “There’s an estimated two million people in England and Wales who may lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves, for whom the Mental Capacity Act is relevant.

“This could be due to dementia, learning disability, brain injury, mental health condition, a stroke, unconsciousness caused by an anaesthetic or sudden accident, or a temporary loss of capacity caused by alcohol or drugs.

“To help people understand it, we’ve produced nine short videos that explain it all in its simplest form, so that everyone can find out what the Act is and how it can help them.

“Practice across Devon and Torbay is first rate, but it is recognised that awareness of the Act by professionals generally could be better.

“The conference will help professionals better understand the Act, and improve their ability to respond to patients, carers and families with full knowledge of the law.

“I would like to encourage people across Devon and Torbay to have a look at the short films, and to share them with their family and friends.”

More information about the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is available here and here.