Lack of training for professionals in the Mental Capacity Act leaves people with dementia compromised
A survey carried out by the Alzheimer’s Society has found that many people with dementia are not properly consulted when decisions about them are made.
It also found that many people with dementia feel they are not properly supported in making decisions.
A lack of awareness and understanding of the Mental Capacity Act on the part of health and social professionals is partly to blame and leads to Mental Capacity errors. Not only is there a lack of understanding of what a Mental Capacity Assessment is, but may people seem to confuse the Mental Capacity Act with the Mental Health Act. The two things are not the same.
We heard recently from a family whose mother was in hospital. Prior to various meetings with the discharge team and with the NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment team, the son rightly questioned whether a Mental Capacity Assessment had been carried out.
The reply from the nurse was shocking: She said that that Mental Capacity Assessments don’t apply to people with dementia – and that for people with dementia the only thing that matters is an assessment of their financial means.
Even without the last part of her comment, it’s a shocking example of what goes on.
You can read more about the Alzheimer’s Society survey here, and you can read more here about Mental Capacity Assessments – and when they should be carried out.