300,000 vulnerable people will see their rights stripped back every year by imminent changes to the Mental Capacity Act, the Law Society has said.

The Mental Capacity Act needs urgent and extensive revision if cared for people are to have meaningful access to justice, the Law Society said as the government prepared to push legislation through its final parliamentary stages (26 February).

Under the current changes to the Mental Capacity Act, 300,000 people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s, autism or learning disabilities will see their rights – specifically their right to liberty – stripped back every year.

Fewer cared for people will qualify for the protection of important safeguards under the new scheme, their access to advocacy and independent professional support will be more limited. People who are deprived of their liberty may face detention without any review for periods of up to three years.