Adult safeguarding – helping adults at risk

Mental Capacity Act

Please note: these pages contain information aimed at members of the public. If you are a professional (i.e. nurse, social worker) looking for advice and guidance, you should visit our Working within adult safeguarding pages.

There are times when people may need help to make decisions, or may lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.

In some circumstances, other people, including family, carers or professionals, may be allowed to make the decision in the person’s best interests, provided they follow the guidance provided by the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

The Act is intended to assist and support people who may lack capacity and also to balance a person’s right to make decisions for themselves with their right to be protected from harm.

Clear and simple guidance for everyone is provided in the Code of Practice to the Act.

Read the Code of Practice to the Act on justice.gov.uk