New charter for social care organisations to tackle health inequalities for people with learning disabilities


Last year, we posted a guest blog by Pauline Heslop, a researcher at the Norah Fry Research Centre, who set out the alarming findings of a confidential enquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities. The enquiry found that people with learning disabilities die significantly younger in England and Wales than people without learning [read the full story…]

CQC still concerned about lack of understanding of Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards


Background Last week, we posted about the BIDs research, which provided a great deal of insight into the current approach to making best interests decisions under the Mental Capacity Act (2005). The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were introduced into the act and came into force in 2009 to ensure that where people who may [read the full story…]

Best interests decision research reports complexity of practice and concerns about notion of capacity


Background The Mental Capacity Act (2005) provides a legal framework for assessing capacity in individuals. Where an individual is shown not to have capacity to make a specific decision at a specific point in time, it also provides a framework for decisions to be made on behalf of that person, in that person’s best interest. [read the full story…]

BMA launches Mental Capacity Act toolkit for doctors, to raise awareness and support decision making

MCA toolkit

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force in England and Wales in 2007 to provide a legal framework for decision-making on behalf of people who cannot make decisions themselves. We have posted previously about the lack of practical knowledge of the working of the Act amongst learning disability community teams  and pointed to articles [read the full story…]

Breaking bad news to people with learning disabilities website full of practical guidance


Earlier this week, we posted about a study by Dr Tuffrey-Wijne and her colleagues which described the process of the development of guidelines to support decision making about disclosure or non-disclosure of bad news about life limiting illness to people with learning disabilities. That study was part of a broader programme of research that has [read the full story…]

People with learning disabilities still not getting adequate information and support to make decisions about medications

Health information

Making the decision to consent to medical treatment requires access to information, presented in clear and understandable ways. There is evidence that that people with learning disabilities do not always understand information about medications they are prescribed, for example from the medication matters project carried out at the Norah Fry centre  which produced a series of [read the full story…]

Resource for families to ensure they are involved in best interest decisions


We have posted a number of times recently about the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and issues relating to the knowledge of professionals about its operation. We would like to draw your attention to a new resource which is designed to help families involved in best interest decisions, to ensure they are involved. The resource has [read the full story…]

CQC report raises concerns about awareness of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in NHS

our voice

We have posted before about concerns about the lack of understanding of the operation of the Mental Capacity Act in learning disability services . This report from the Care Quality Commission suggests that those working in the NHS may have similar issues. The report’s authors recommend that the NHS needs better training and more awareness of [read the full story…]

Distinctions between capacity and competence in people with learning disabilities in the Mental Capacity Act


We have posted elsewhere on the blog about some of the issues faced by people responding to the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act. The author of this paper set out to clarify the differences between the terms’ capacity’ and ‘competence’ as used in the Act, in order to help practitioners, people with disabilities and [read the full story…]

Structured assessment framework improves adherence to requirements of mental capacity act


The Mental Capacity Act has created a legal framework for those supporting people with learning disabilities making decisions about the way they live their lives. The Act provides safeguards for those people who may be unable to make decisions for themselves and sets out guidance for supporters. The authors of this paper carried out an [read the full story…]