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A Practical Guide to the Mental Capacity ACT 2005


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Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. A New Culture of Care. 2. Maximising Capacity. 3. Assessing Capacity. 4. Advocacy and Empowerment. 5. Advance Care Planning. 6. Best Interests. 7. Liberty and choice.

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An easy-to-understand guide to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for health and social care professionals

About the Author

Matthew Graham MSc is Senior Lecturer in Social Work in the School of Social Work, Care and Community at the University of Central Lancashire. He is a registered social worker. Jakki Cowley is co-director of Empowerment Matters, an Advocacy and Mental Capacity Act Resource, Support and Information Agency. She is a committee member of the Court of Protection Practitioners Association (CoPPA). Both of the authors are leading trainers and educators on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and specialise in delivering training which is accessible to all practitioners as well as service users and carers.


Written by experienced practitioners in the field, this authoritative yet highly pragmatic book guides readers from all backgrounds expertly through a major piece of health and social care law. Starting from libertarian principles, Matt Graham and Jakki Cowley skilfully achieve their aim to demystify the MCA. They have made the statute, associated best practice guidance and case law easily accessible to those who need support navigating difficult and confusing decisions. Using a no nonsense style, together with a useful range of authentic case and best practice examples, the authors have created a highly useable hand book for the work place. Essential and recommended reading for anyone working within adult health and social care. -- Martin Vernon, Consultant Geriatrician and Clinical Director of Community Services, Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust
The Mental Capacity Act is widely considered to be a positive piece of legislation but often ignored or misused because of low levels of awareness and understanding. This book will help to rectify that because it provides a clear, comprehensive and accurate description of the Act that is essential reading for anyone working with people who may lack capacity. The authors understand the practical challenges of applying the law on a day to day basis because they both bring an enormous amount of experience of doing this themselves. By emphasising the positive benefits and principles of the Act the book should make a very valuable contribution to improving practice and ensuring the legal rights of people are properly respected and complied with. -- Toby Williamson, Head of Development & Later Life, Mental Health Foundation
This is indeed a practical guide to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, written in a very accessible manner, with many helpful examples throughout which clearly illustrate the principles being explained. It encourages practitioners to use the principles of the Act within their daily practice. It will be of use to staff and families who are living or working in a range of settings and is very relevant to a range of client groups, including people with intellectual disabilities and those with autism spectrum conditions. It keeps the person at the very centre of the process of consent, provides clear guidance around what needs to be considered at all stages, encourages reflective practice and highlights the importance of experts of experience. -- Dr Jill Bradshaw, Lecturer in Learning Disabilities, Tizard Centre
This accessible practical guide captures the spirit of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.The authors clearly explain what practitioners need to understand about capacity and decision-making and effectively demystify the legal framework. -- Alison Brammer, Senior Lecturer in Law, Keele University
This book is a useful resource for practitioners. It is an excellent plain-English guide to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The points are neatly broken down into bitesize sections (often in bullet-points) which makes the text easy to read and digest, or handy as a quick reference guide. -- Alex Ruck Keene, Barrister and Honorary Research Lecturer at the University of Manchester

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