Supporting care homes during the coronavirus pandemic

On 2 April, Admission and Care of Residents during COVID-19 Incident in a Care Home was published. It is intended for care homes, local health protection teams, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and registered providers of accommodation for people who need personal or nursing care. This includes registered residential care and nursing homes for people with learning disabilities, mental health and/or other disabilities. 

There are detailed annexes containing guidance. The documents also states duties and powers under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 still apply during this period. If a person thinks it is more likely than not that the person lacks the relevant mental capacity to make the decisions about their ongoing care and treatment, a capacity assessment should be carried out before a decision about their discharge is made. During the emergency period, healthcare professionals may want to consider a proportionate approach to such assessments to enable timely discharge.

The Department of Health and Social Care will shortly be issuing guidance on the use of the MCA and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards during this emergency period. Where the person is assessed to lack the relevant mental capacity and a decision needs to be made, then please follow this guidance.

We will update readers on that when it is published.

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