The government has issued an update on its response to the recommendations of the House of Lords Select Committee on the Mental Capacity Act, which ran from May 2013 to March 2014.
The update confirms which of the committee’s recommendations the government has accepted, and what progress has been made on each recommendation. Among those accepted are:
- the need to raise awareness among those affected, their families and carers, professionals, professional groups and the wider public;
- the need to assess usage of the core principles across the range of decisions affecting people lacking capacity, including in sectors such as banking and policing;
- the explicit incorporation compliance with the Mental Capacity Act into the standards against which the CQC inspects;
- the education of GPs on the act;
- encouraging wider use of commissioning as a tool for ensuring compliance;
- that the Government undertake a comprehensive review of the DoLS legislation; with a view to replacing it with provisions that are compatible in style and ethos with the act;
- that replacement legislative provisions and associated forms are drafted in clear and simple terms, to ensure they can be understood and applied effectively by professionals, individuals, families and carers;
- more regular appointments of IMCAs by local authorities, and further professionalization of the role to ensure consistency of service;
- that the Court of Protection rules be updated;
- increased use of mediation prior to issuing proceedings in the Court of Protection; and
- that the Government initiate a review of whether the offence in section 44 of the Act meets the test of legal certainty.