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Explain the impact of the Mental Capacity Act on support planning processes


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For this assessment criterion, you will be required to explain the impact that the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) has on the support planning process.


The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is designed to protect individuals that may not have the capacity to make decisions for themselves. All learners should be familiar with the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice so that they understand how mental capacity relates to all aspects of their role, including the support planning process. For this assessment criterion, it will also be necessary to be familiar with the Care Act Statutory Guidance, particularly the sections that relate to mental capacity.

When carrying out support planning processes, it must be assumed that the individual has the mental capacity to make their own decisions from the outset, unless there is evidence to suggest otherwise. If there are doubts about an individual’s capacity, then a mental capacity assessment should be carried out.


The Code of Practice provides an ‘acid test’ for assessing mental capacity – an individual must be able to understand their options, retain the information for long enough to weigh up the pros and cons and be able to communicate their decision.

Where an individual is assessed to not have the capacity and all reasonable options have been explored to support them to make a decision independently, a decision must be made on their behalf. These decisions might be made by family members, advocates or healthcare professionals. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 legislates that any such decision must be made in the individual’s best interests.


Advance Care Planning is a system that allows individuals to make decisions about their future care provision whilst they still have the mental capacity to do so. This is often used with individuals that are diagnosed with dementia as it is a realistic possibility that they will lose the capacity to make decisions in the future, and so they can ensure that their voice is still heard if this happens.

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