This Policy defines the Organisation’s policy relevant to implementing the principles of the Mental Capacity Act, 2005 for the best interests of the Organisation’s service users:
1. It is not the purpose of this Policy to repeat the details of the Mental Capacity Act, 2005. A copy of the Act is kept at the Organisation’s offices and may be consulted at any time. This Policy refers only to the ways in which the principles of the Act are put into practice for our service users which ensures compliance to the requirements of the Act.
2. The Mental Capacity Act, 2005 is built around 5 key principles. The Organization subscribes to, and fully, supports, these principles which are as follows (In all cases the best interests of our service users is paramount):
2.1 Presumption of capacity. It is acknowledged that every service user has the right to make his / her own decisions and it will be assumed that they have the capacity to do so unless proved otherwise. Every person over the age of 18 is presumed to have mental capacity from a legal standpoint.
2.2 Individual service users will be supported to make their own decisions. In all cases each service user is treated as an individual and will be given all practical help to make these decisions before it is decided that the service user is unable to do so.
2.3 Each service user is presumed able to make his / her own decisions. It is accepted that some of these decisions may seem eccentric and possibly even unwise, but it will not be assumed that the service user lacks appropriate mental capacity because of this.
2.4 Any action taken or decision made under the Act will only ever be done with the service user’s best interests in mind.
2.5 Any such action taken or decision made under the Act on behalf of a service user who is deemed to lack mental capacity will be the least restrictive of the service user’s basic rights and freedoms.
3. The procedures to be used for assessing mental capacity may be found in Policy No 3720.