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.