Mental Capacity & Deprivations of Liberty Safeguards

Mental Capacity & Deprivations of Liberty Safeguards

The legal liabilities that flow from non-compliance with the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) are significant. Individuals and organisations can be the subject of criminal and civil sanction. However, get it right and the MCA affords a high degree of legal protection to carers and providers, while at the same time ensuring the rights of incapacitated adults are upheld.

Compliance with the MCA is patchy across the sector.  The deficit is in spite of the fact that the provisions of the MCA are mandatory, not an optional bolt-on to existing practice. 

Over the next few years, the focus on MCA compliance is only going to grow given that CQC has identified it as an area of concern. Additionally, the recent Supreme Court Judgment in Cheshire West has placed DOLs firmly in the spotlight making disputes and challenges all the more likely.

More than ever, providers need lawyers who not only know the MCA inside out but understand the sector. 

Services include:

  • advising providers on all aspects of compliance with the MCA; including;
  • putting in place lawful policies and procedures in relation to capacity assessments and best interests’ decision-making;
  • advising on the need (or otherwise) to make DOLS applications in relation to particular service users. 

At the sharp end of non-compliance with the MCA, Ridouts is experienced in advising providers on all fronts of its core business, including:

  • Regulator enforcement;
  • Contractual disputes;
  • Safeguarding investigations and embargoes;
  • Inquests;
  • Performance management of staff; and
  • Criminal prosecutions and civil proceedings.

Ridouts is uniquely placed to advise providers on meeting the requirements of the MCA (including DOLs), and in so doing, transforming the lives of service users in their care and enhancing the reputation of their services as centres of excellence.

Services include:

  • Advising clients on HSE; CQC and police prosecutions;
  • Seeking advance disclosure from the regulators;
  • Preparing documents for submission to the regulators under statutory and non-statutory requests;
  • Helping clients to understand the nature of any interview and whether you should attend;
  • Helping clients to carefully prepare for any interview.  This is not to coach but to ensure that the interviewee knows the background to the interview and is able to do justice to his/her case;
  • Advise on strategy and approach.

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