Brain injury and the MCA – making the abstract real

In a news item that should have made its way into the most recent Newsletter, a group of experienced brain injury specialists formed an email-based interest group during the recent House of Lords select committee investigation into the workings of the Mental Capacity Act. The group provided evidence in person and in writing to the committee and this evidence formed part of the findings of the eventual report and recommendations. The group is made up of a mixture of case managers, psychologists, psychiatrists, medics, lawyers and others, all with extensive brain injury experience.

On the advice of Lord Hardie QC, chair of the committee, this work was followed up with the Department of Health who are responsible for co-ordinating a response to their Lordships’ report.

The report “Making the Abstract Real” is culmination of this work and has been presented to the Department of Health and well received. This report makes 6 recommendations for action that will specifically address difficulties associated with using the Mental Capacity Act on behalf of people with an acquired brain injury.   It is available here, and I would strongly recommend reading it as an insight into the very specific problems posed by ABIs in the context of the MCA 2005.


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One Reply to “Brain injury and the MCA – making the abstract real”

  1. This seems to me to be a really excellent and useful report – succinct, clinically profound, subtle, comprehensive and with eminently sensible recommendations which, as ever, point to the need for better training. And there’s the rub. People with ABI, because of the many ways it can come about, end up many different parts of the care services with staff who understand little or nothing about the condition. I note, for example, that neither neurologists nor elderly care specialists have apparently been involved so far; and there is an urgent need at least to spread this good message at least to this group.

    Incidentally, the pervasive, subtle nature of the defects in people with ABI makes the personal assessment of these claimants by judges, learned in the law but in psychological matters dishearteningly naive, entirely inappropriate. (see for example X v A Local Authority, An N.H.S. Trust. Case No. 1249769T Court of Protection 13 June 2014 [2014] EWCOP B25, 2014 WL 4355096 referred to in the latest CoP newsletter)

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