How to use the workbook

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  • Are you appropriately experienced, trained and supported to work as a Care Act independent advocate?

  • Are more (or different) people likely to require an independent advocate because they have ‘substantial difficulty’ under the Act than previously accessed advocacy in your local area?

  • Does your local authority have a sufficient pool of people who can work as independent advocates under the Act?

  1. Interface with the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Slide 10


  1. The MCA is about protecting and promoting the rights of people where someone is unable to make a decision because of the way their mind or brain works is affected, for instance by illness or disability. The lack of capacity may be temporary because they are unconscious or barely conscious whether due to an accident, being under anaesthetic or as a result of other conditions such as the effects of drugs or alcohol. The lack of capacity may be long term, but still may be enhanced with the right level of support.

  1. All staff assessing care and support needs, and undertaking care planning and reviews – as well as all Care Act independent advocates - are expected to understand the MCA and to apply it, including understanding how the MCA interfaces with the Care Act. In term of knowledge, they need to understand:

  • the five MCA principles:

  1. every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and must be assumed to have capacity to make them unless it is proved otherwise

  2. a person must be given all practicable help before anyone treats them as not being able to make their own decisions

  3. just because an individual makes what might be seen as an unwise decision, they should not be treated as lacking capacity to make that decision

  4. anything done or any decision made on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done in their best interests

  5. anything done for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms

  • how to carry out a mental capacity assessment

  • how to make a best interests decision: having supported the person to express their wishes and feelings; having consulted others; and having considered issues such as a person’s liberty and their right to family life

  • what a deprivation of liberty is.

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