Last week (10 August 2021) the Department of Health and Social Care withdrew its emergency Covid-19 guidance on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and deprivation of liberty safeguards.
The Department’s announcement states:
“This emergency guidance will no longer be updated.
The care and treatment of people who may lack the relevant mental capacity must always be guided by important principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and may in some cases include the safeguards provided by the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS). This was and is the case, before, during and after the pandemic.
Where decisions may need to be made in relation to COVID-19 care or treatment, for someone who may lack the relevant mental capacity, practitioners should follow their usual processes, including the best interest decision making process.”
In the circumstances, practitioners should note that the urgent authorisation form (form 1B) in Annex B should now no longer be used and instead form 1 should be used for all requests. All the relevant forms can be found here.
Do get in touch if you have any questions about how the principles of the MCA can be applied to Covid-19 related decisions, or in relation to the withdrawing of this guidance – we have a friendly and expert team ready to help.