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Mental Capacity Act

What is it?

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is a legal framework to empower and protect vulnerable people who are not able to make their own decisions. It makes clear who can make decisions for someone who lacks capacity (known as the decision maker), in which situations and how they should go about this. It provides a checklist of factors that decision makers must work through in deciding what is in a person's best interests. It enables people to plan ahead for a time when they may lose mental capacity.

It creates new powers, bodies and roles which are explained on these pages.

Who does it affect?

The Mental Capacity Act applies to people aged 16 and over who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves.

Core principles

The act gives five core principles that all carers must follow:

  1. A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is shown that they lack capacity.
  2. All practicable and reasonable steps must be taken to help and encourage people to make decisions.
  3. A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision just because they make an unwise decision.
  4. Decisions made for a person without capacity must be in their best interests.
  5. Anything done for the person who lacks capacity must be the least restrictive option.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA)

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) contact details for Walsall:

VoiceAbility, Mount Pleasant House, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0RN

Telephone 0208 330 6622

IMCA Hotline: 0845 0175 198

Key Documents

Download list

In addition to the contact details below, you may also find the following websites useful.

Information in other formats

If you would like this information in any other format, such as large print, audio tape or another language please contact:

Public information officer
Council House, Room 34
Lichfield Street
Walsall WS1 1TW

Telephone 01922 658368

Contact us

The Office of the Public Guardian and the Court of Protection
Archway Tower
2 Junction Road
London N19 5SZ

Telephone 0845 330 2900
Fax 020 7664 7705
Textphone 020 7664 7755