Mental Capacity Act e-learning programme launched - elearning for healthcare
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Mental Capacity Act e-learning programme launched

Alex Drinkall, 15 August 2019
Mental Capacity Act

Health Education England elearning for healthcare (HEE elfh) has worked with organisation including the Office of the Public Guardian, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Department of Health and Social Care, Care Quality Commission and Ministry of Justice to develop an elearning programme for health and care professionals about the Mental Capacity Act.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) provides a statutory framework for people who lack capacity to make decisions for themselves, or who have capacity and want to prepare for a time when they may lack capacity in the future. When a person lacks capacity, for example to consent to or refuse treatment, the MCA lays out who can make decisions in the person’s best interests, and how such decisions must be made.

Mental capacity is the ability to make a specific decision at the time it needs to be made, with help if necessary. It has been estimated that over two million adults and young people may lack mental capacity at any time (due to dementia, acquired brain injuries, learning disabilities, acute delirium and other conditions).

The MCA lays out how an individual can retain power over decisions that have to be made in the future, if they should lose capacity. Whether or not a person has taken such steps, it is by following the MCA that professionals ensure they are acting lawfully and respecting the human rights of people who may lack capacity to consent to interventions that are proposed.

The HEE elfh Mental Capacity Act elearning programme comprises 11 elearning sessions, which cover the following titles:

  • Mental Capacity Act as Part of Human Rights
  • Assessing Mental Capacity
  • Planning Ahead using the Mental Capacity Act
  • Best Interests
  • Restraint
  • Deprivation of Liberty
  • Relationship between the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act
  • Mental Capacity Act and Young People aged 16 or 17
  • Research involving People who Lack Capacity
  • Mental Capacity Act and Adult Safeguarding
  • Settling Disputes and Disagreements.

Each elearning session will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete and is made up of factual knowledge, case scenarios, short interviews and self-assessment questions to test your knowledge.

The MCA programme is available to access on the HEE elfh Hub, the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) and via AICC.

For more information about the MCA programme, including details on how to access, visit

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