Mental Capacity Act

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The Mental Capacity Act 2005, covering England and Wales, provides a statutory framework for people who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves, or who have the capacity and want to make preparations for a time when they may lack capacity in the future. It sets out who can take decisions, in which situations, and how they should go about this.  The Act came into force in 2007.

The code of practice for the Mental Capacity Act gives guidance to people who:

  • work with people who can’t make decisions for themselves
  • care for people who can’t make decisions for themselves

It says what you must do when you act or make decisions on behalf of people who can’t act or make those decisions for themselves.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) says certain people must think about the code of practice when they act or make decisions on the other person’s behalf. This includes:

  • an attorney appointed under a lasting power of attorney
  • a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection
  • an independent mental capacity advocate
  • a person doing research approved in accordance with the MCA
  • a person who acts in a professional capacity for, or in relation to, people who can’t make decisions for themselves
  • a person who is paid to act for or in relation to people who can’t make decisions for themselves.

Contact Details

0300 456 0300 Office of the Public Guardian



Office of the Public Guardian, PO Box 16185, Birmingham B2 2WH

Other Info

Opening times:
Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri 9am- 5pm, Wed 10am - 5pm.

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