Accessibility Toolbar Accessibility Statement

Mental Capacity ActA lady holding her head

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides a statutory framework to empower and protect vulnerable people who are not able to make their own decisions. It makes it clear who can take decisions, in which situations, and how they should go about this. It enables people to plan ahead for a time when they may lose capacity.

Guidance on the Act is provided in the Code of Practice Link to External Website People who are placed under a duty to have regard to the Code include those working in a professional capacity e.g. doctors and social workers.

The Act was introduced in April 2007 with the criminal offence of ill treatment or wilfully neglect of a person without capacity, it also introduced the Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCA) Service. In October 2007 the Act was implemented in full with the introduction of the new Court of Protection, advanced decisions, lasting powers of attorney etc.

The Mental Capacity Act effects people aged 16 and over in these situations. It also affects their families, carers, health and social care staff and other people who may have contact with them. It could cover all sorts of major decisions where a person may lack capacity, about things like financial, social care, medical treatment, as well as everyday decisions.  If a person lacks capacity this can be recorded on our Capacity Assessment Document (0.05MB) .

What does the Act do?

The Act enshrines in statute current best practice and common law principles concerning people who lack mental capacity and those who take decisions on their behalf. It replaces statutory schemes for Enduring Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection receivers with reformed and updated schemes.

The whole Act is underpinned by a set of five key principles stated at Section 1:

  • A presumption of capacity - every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and must be assumed to have capacity to do so unless it is proved otherwise; 
  • The right for individuals to be supported to make their own decisions - people must be given all appropriate help before anyone concludes that they cannot make their own decisions; 
  • That individuals must retain the right to make what might be seen as eccentric or unwise decisions; 
  • Best interests - anything done for or on behalf of people without capacity must be in their best interests; and 
  • Least restrictive intervention - anything done for or on behalf of people without capacity should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms.

Information Booklets

A series of information booklets providing introductory information on the Mental Capacity Act are available:

What's happening in Tameside?

Tameside MBC has a lead MCA officer to offer advice and guidance and to ensure both the local authority and partner agencies adhere to the Act.

Tameside MBC is part of a North West regional implementation network to look at issues and share information to contribute to the implementation of MCA regionally.

Awareness Training

Tameside MBC is currently running a program of basic and application to practice training courses for all partner agencies.

For further information on the training please contact us using the details below:

Useful Contacts

The Carers Centre Tameside
Postal Address Tameside Carers Centre, Hyde Town Hall (Via Corporation St), Market Street, Hyde, Tameside, SK14 1AL
Telephone Number 0161 342 3344

Tameside and Glossop Mind
Postal Address Topaz Café and Well Being Centre, 216-218 Katherine Street, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 7AS
Telephone Number 0161 330 9223 Fax Number 0161 339 1100 (Website:  Link to External Website)

Contact Information
Contact by Post

MCA/DOLS Co-ordinator
Adult Services
Wilshaw House
Wilshaw Lane
Ashton Under Lyne
Contact by Telephone
0161 342 2400


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