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Published 14 March 2014
A House of Lords committee tasked with scrutinising the impact of the MCA has produced a report which is extremely critical of health and social care bodies. The report calls for new legislation and sweeping changes to the way professionals and organisations provide care to adults who lack capacity.
The report suggests that while the MCA has the power to transform lives, in practice there are fundamental failings in implementation. The DoLs regime is considered to be so fundamentally flawed that government should legislate from scratch to replace it. Other criticisms are directed specifically at health and social care providers notably:
The key recommendations which would have a real and significant effect if implemented include:
While it is unclear at this stage to what extent the recommendations will be implemented, and by whom, it is clear from the report that substantive change would be needed in the health and social care sector if the empowerment intended by the MCA is to be realised.
Any legislative change to address the DoLS concerns is likely to be some way off, particularly given that it would now be too late to incorporate it into the Care Bill.
In the shorter term, health and social care bodies are likely to come under increased scrutiny from regulators, commissioners and indeed the public to ensure that their staff understand and implement the MCA both in spirit and detail.
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