Thank you! Onwards and upwards with the Mental Capacity Law Newsletter

Not a news item, this time, but a big ‘thank you’ to all those who have subscribed to the 39 Essex Chambers Mental Capacity Newsletter (now available in a shiny new Mental Capacity Law Resources area on the Chambers website) in record numbers this month, taking its readership to over 3,000.   Please keep the comments and news items coming, and please also – if only to keep the editors happy – share with us examples of good social work and clinical practice in the application of the MCA 2005 to counteract the often depressing picture given by the cases we report.

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One Reply to “Thank you! Onwards and upwards with the Mental Capacity Law Newsletter”

  1. Congratulations Alex!

    I think your point about ‘good news stories’ is a really good one. I’ve been worrying about this lately. I got rung up by the Thomas Paine initiative who wanted ‘good news stories’ about human rights. The trouble is, in our area, human rights are typically invoked in court because something has gone horribly wrong.

    There are some ‘good news’ cases – where people have done things right and the court’s made a satisfying decision – like Manuela Sykes’ case – but by and large things go to court because something went wrong or perhaps even just because it was a hard case with no easy outcome.

    But in practice, on the ground, there are loads of ‘good news’ cases about DOLS. These are usually coming about through creative use of conditions – which are basically the only ‘superpower’ under the DoLS which are an improvement on the MHA. I have heard some amazing stories about this, but the trouble is it’s extremely difficult to disseminate these. As a researcher, we have to jump through truly nightmarish hoops before we can tell these stories. The research regulations of the MCA mean that it’s probably easier to detain somebody under DoLS or to apply to the CoP than it is to get through the research ethics process. (And don’t even get me started on how that interfaces with the Court of Protection’s privacy rules… roll on research practice direction). So how can we share these stories?

    I’ve been wondering about doing something picking apart the lovely examples on the CQC’s latest DoLS report. I don’t know if you’ve other ideas of good practice? As non-researchers, and provided you don’t present it as research (top tip there – the ethics forms define research as ‘something that presents itself as research’), you guys would actually have more scope for telling good news stories, provided duty of confidentiality etc is respected…

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