What is the Mental Capacity Act 2005?

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) is a piece of law that explains what to do when a person is not able to make decisions for themselves. The MCA applies to anyone 16 years old and over who has a mental impairment that might affect their ability to make decisions. The MCA tells us:

  • how to support a person to make their own decision
  • how to assess whether a person can make their own decision
  • how to make a decision in a person’s best interests, if they can’t make it for themselves.   

Everyone working with and/or caring for a person who may not be able to make their own decisions must have regard to the MCA and its five principles. You can read more about the principles on the Social Care Institute for Excellence website.

If you want to know more about the MCA, our partners in Focus Independent Adult Social Work have created a lot of short videos. These are called the MCA Mini-Series and are available on YouTube.

If you want to understand more about how the MCA applies to young people preparing to become adults you may find this guide from the Department of Health and Social Care useful: Making finance decisions for young people: parent and carer toolkit – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

You can find the local policy on the NHS Humber and North Yorkshire ICB website.

Page last updated: 10 Oct 2023