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Mental Capacity Act practice guidance

Part 13

If the person can't comply with the decision

[Code of Practice chapter 6]

No matter how carefully assessments are undertaken and recorded, sometimes the person does not do what has been decided, so what can you do?

Remember the fifth Principle: ‘Before the act is done, or the decision is made, regard must be had to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of the person’s rights and freedom of action.’ (MCA section 1) Following this, you will have decided on whatever most closely accords with the person’s wishes and you will have considered any alternatives. So what has been decided is what must happen.

You can’t abandon the best interests decision because the person doesn’t agree, so you will need to encourage and persuade them.

Instead of asking the person if they would like to do it, tell them that it is going to happen. For many people that slight change in tone may be enough for them to be able to comply.

If the person is still not able to comply it may be appropriate to use restraint. (Part 14: Restraint)