One of the most difficult and sensitive aspects of being a care provider is knowing how to interpret the Deprivation of Liberty Standards enshrined in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The sensitivity explains why this remains a popular training course.
Your first priority as a care provider is always to keep people safe. Yet, people sometimes choose to do unsafe or risky things. Also, people have an absolute right to make decisions about their own behaviour and care.
This becomes difficult when you believe that somebody’s judgement might be impaired, perhaps by illness or mental decline. At what point, and under what circumstances, can you make a judgement that somebody lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves?
Deprivation of Liberty Standards
The Act makes it clear that care providers are expected to minimise any restrictions to the freedom of people who lack the capacity to consent to them. It also states that restrictions must be proportionate to the risk and seriousness of harm.
The CQC states that ‘Care plans must show evidence of best interests decision-making in line with the Mental Capacity Act, based on decision-specific capacity assessments’. What does this mean in practice?
Because these judgements can be finely balanced and highly sensitive, it’s essential that the person making them is fully trained and confident. This isn’t just about compliance, it goes to the heart of what it means to be a good care provider practising person-centred care.
Redcrier’s Mental Capacity Act 2005 training course has given many care providers the reassurance that they are interpreting the Act appropriately and that they know how to make decisions objectively.
The course content includes how to:
- Understand what the Mental Capacity Act is and who it is relevant to.
- Recognise the five core principles that guide decisions about mental capacity.
- Identify how a person’s ability to make a decision is assessed.
- Understand the term “best interests” and how this is applied.
- Recognise the role of deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) in protecting the rights of vulnerable people.
If you are unsure about any aspects of the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Standards, it’s essential to update your knowledge. Redcrier offers the option of face-to-face, distance and e-learning, depending on what style you prefer.