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MCA introduction

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) is a vital piece of legislation, which makes a real difference to the lives of people who may lack mental capacity.

The Mental Capacity Act:

  • empowers people to make decisions for themselves wherever possible
  • protects those who lack capacity by placing them at the heart of the decision-making process
  • ensures that people participate as much as possible in decisions made on their behalf, and these decisions are made in their best interests
  • allows people to plan ahead, in case they might lack capacity in the future for any number of reasons, to make decisions for themselves.

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Information for families and individuals

The following information and guidance can help you understand the Mental Capacity Act.

Looking for information on how the MCA enables you to plan for the future?

Information for professionals

All professionals who work within the health and social care sector have a duty to comply with the Mental Capacity Act, alongside your own specific policies, procedures and regulatory requirements pursuant to your individual setting.

General information and resources related to the Mental Capacity Act from Social Care Institute for Excellence

Key Resources

Free online learning for health professionals

Cambridgeshire County Council and NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have produced a Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) online learning tool specifically for health professionals. This online resource is completely free and will help healthcare professionals understand:

  • What the MCA is
  • What they need to know
  • How it affects them
  • How it affects their patients
  • How to apply this to their practice

To access the free resource - The Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards online course (Medical Protection Website)


To discuss your training needs, contact the MCA/DoLS Learning and Development manager. Please email learning&, or call on 01480 373534