How Does Covid-19 Affect the Mental Capacity Act 2005?

Coronavirus Safeguarding

The Government’s Coronavirus Act 2020 Should Not Affect The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005.

The MCA 2005 states that everybody has capacity unless it is proved otherwise. It outlines that we should support people to make their own decisions. It also stipulates that anything done for or on behalf of people without capacity must be in their best interests, and should be the least restrictive intervention.

In March 2020, the Government introduced the Coronavirus Act 2020. It’s a set of temporary measures that the Government hopes will address the spread of Covid-19. But how do these measures affect existing legislation?

Mental Capacity Law and Legislation experts have analysed the text of the Coronavirus Act. They conclude that the new act does not itself contradict the terms of MCA 2005. However, whenever practitioners apply the MCA in the coming months, they’ll do so in an unprecedented set of circumstances.

Everyone involved in health and social care must think creatively about how to secure the MCA’s core principles. We must also be clear as to when a particular option is simply not available, so that it does not fall for consideration as part of any best interests decision-making process.

You can read a full guide to Covid-19 and the MCA here.