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Support for adults

Mental Capacity Act – the process for professionals

You may need to make a judgement about someone’s capacity to make a decision. There are a range of tools and documents which can help you through the process and ensure that the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and accompanying Code of Practice are correctly applied.

The Act can be used to make decisions for someone who lacks capacity on everything from what to wear to where to live. This places responsibility on the people making the decisions – but does not give anyone more powers. The Act just provides a legal framework for ensuring that decisions are made and recorded in a consistent, transparent way and are in the person’s best interests.

We have created a simple MCA Flowchart which covers the main steps you need to follow. There is a more detailed Devon MCA Policy which must be used alongside the Act when making decisions.

We have also produced Devon Mental Capacity Act practice guidance which takes you through the whole process. This document covers every aspect of decision-making including judging a person’s best interests, Deprivation of Liberty safeguards, applying to the Court of Protection and the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) Service.

We have also created detailed guidance for conducting Best Interest Meetings.

For complex or life-changing decision-making you should always use the formal recording tool – Mental Capacity Assessment FACE Form v6 – on CareFirst 6.

For more information and advice about mental capacity and making decisions for others, contact the Adult Safeguarding Team by emailing

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