Coronavirus: looking after people who lack mental capacity guidance

The government has made some further updates to published guidance on the MCA and DoLS during the pandemic: www.gov.uk

These changes address two important issues – self-isolation rules and the impact of the local COVID alert level system on face-to-face visiting – both in England.

The main guidance document – ‘The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’ has been updated. The section ‘Emergency public health powers’ has been changed to ‘Emergency Coronavirus health powers’ to include information about which coronavirus health powers may be relevant for people without relevant mental capacity. The section ‘Supervisory bodies (local authorities in England, and local health boards and local authorities in Wales)’ has been updated to include advice on visiting care homes in relation to the latest local COVID alert level guidance.

The supplementary guidance document – ‘The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance’ has been updated. The ‘Emergency public health powers’ section has been changed to ‘Emergency Coronavirus health powers’ to include updated information about what affect the new regulations and guidance in England for self-isolation, brought into force on Monday 28 September 2020, if a person does not have mental capacity to make decisions in relation to these rules. The section ‘Continuing to carry out your role as a DoLS independent mental capacity advocate (IMCA) or relevant person’s representative (RPR)’ has also been updated to include local advice on visiting care homes in relation to the latest local COVID alert level guidance.