BHFT_23Mar12_0154Consent and Mental Capacity

You should be aware that under the Mental Capacity Act only the individual themselves (if they have capacity to) or the Decision Maker (if the person lacks capacity) can give consent to medical treatment. Relatives and paid staff have responsibilities, along with medical staff, to help someone understand about any Best Interests Decisions.

Those close to an individual will have some relevant experience of how they are supported to make decisions and communicate their views in other aspects of their life. However, if it is decided that the person lacks capacity to make a particular decision about treatment, and there is time to, a Best Interests Meeting must be held. Family members and support staff should be invited to give their views, based on their knowledge of the person, but they do not have responsibility for medical decisions. These will be made by the person doing the procedure.

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It provides legal protection for those vulnerable people who are or may become deprived of their liberty in a hospital. The safeguard exists to provide a proper legal process and suitable protection in those circumstances where deprivation of liberty appears to be unavoidable in a person’s own best interest.