Minister for Care addresses concerns over Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill

Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage

Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage has written an open letter addressing concerns over the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill.

The Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament, has triggered a storm of criticism from social care leaders and stakeholders who argue it creates a conflict of interest by passing responsibility on decisions over deprivation of liberty to care home managers (see Ministers urged to eliminate conflict of interest in mental capacity proposals).

Addressing these concerns, the Minister said: “We have built in protections against conflicts of interest for those making decisions about a person’s deprivation of liberty. Before an authorisation is given, it must be reviewed by someone who is not involved in the day-to-day care or in providing any treatment to the person: in care home cases, it cannot be completed by care home staff or the manager.”

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The Minister said deprivation of liberty authorisations would be granted where arrangements were “necessary and proportionate to prevent harm to the person” and would not be more restrictive than needed.

She added that authorisations would not be based on “convenience or cost” and there would remain an entitlement to independent advocacy.

Ms Dinenage said the government was developing a comprehensive Code of Practice for the Bill and invited disabled people’s organisations and self-advocacy groups for their input.

To read the full letter click here.

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