Housing implications of new Mental Capacity Act explained

A new information resource published by the Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP) aims to clear up any confusion about how new legislation under the Mental Capacity Act will affect people living in supported accommodation.

Most of the legislation under the new Act will come into force next month and the CSIP has produced its new factsheet and web-based resources to give a user-friendly outline of the law as it involves clients who lack mental capacity and who are facing long-term state-arranged accommodation.

People affected by the Mental Capacity Act can include those with severe mental health problems as well as those with dementia and learning difficulties.

A CSIP spokesman said: “The Act is relevant to everyone who supports or cares for – whether formally or informally – people who may lack capacity to make decisions for themselves.

“This includes the housing and housing-related support sectors, so it is important for professionals and managers from these sectors to be familiar with the main provisions of the Act.

“Housing providers need to be aware of capacity issues – they need to be
confident that they are able to correctly identify the issue of capacity that needs to be tested, they can correctly apply the test of capacity and decision-making and are fully aware of the steps available to them if someone’s capacity is in doubt.”

The briefing explains the term ‘capacity’ and the tests used to assess it, giving important advice on applying for accommodation from a public authority.

The factsheet is backed by four more detailed information sheets, also produced by the CSIP’s Housing, Learning and Improvement Network.

To access the factsheet and additional resources, click here.