Mental Capacity Act - e-Learning for Healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
  • Health Education England
  • academy of medical royal colleges
  • Department of Health

About Mental Capacity Act programme

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 make preparations for a time when they may lack capacity in the future.  Where 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.

More information

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 Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) is the essential framework for making decisions about the care and treatment of people aged 16 and over, who might lack mental capacity to make their own decisions to consent to, or refuse, interventions that are offered by health or social care professionals. It balances the right to autonomy with the necessity, where essential, for professionals to protect a person and make decisions on their behalf, in their best interests. 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: and, 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 e-LfH Mental Capacity Act e-learning programme (MCA) is made up of 11 e-learning sessions, which cover the following titles:

  • Mental Capacity Act as Part of Human Rights
  • Assessing Mental Capacity
  • Making Decisions
  • 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 e-learning session will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete and is made up of knowledge, case scenarios, short interviews and self-assessment questions to test your knowledge. The resource can be accessed on smart phones, tablets and laptop/desktop devices.

  • Rachel Griffiths MBE

    Clinical Lead MCA Programme
  • Jonathan Guy

    Project Manager, HEE e-LfH
  • e-LfH staff - Paul Kelly

    Paul Kelly

    Instructional Designer, HEE e-LfH
  • Victoria Ward

    Victoria Ward

    HEE e-LfH

External Advisory Group

  • Baroness Finlay of Llandaff FMedSci., FRCP FRCGP, Chair of the National Mental Capacity Forum
  • Charlotte Gandhu, External Partnership Manager, Office of Public Guardian
  • Rebecca Weaver, Content Design and Editorial Manager, Office of Public Guardian
  • Liz Eaton, Head of Mental Capacity Policy, Family Justice, Ministry of Justice
  • Debbie Ivanova, Deputy Chief Inspector (London and South) Adult Social Care, Care Quality Commission
  • Lucy Series, Wellcome Research Fellow and Lecturer in Law, Cardiff School of Law and Politics
  • Dr Pippa Harrold, Salaried GP, Norwich, Former Lead GP Adult Safeguarding, Norfolk & Waveney CCGs, April 2017- April 2019
  • Lorraine Currie, Mental Capacity Consultant, Member of NMCF Leadership team, Chair of National DoLS Leads group
  • Ben Troke, Partner, BrowneJacobson Solicitors
  • Rebecca Fitzpatrick, Partner, BrowneJacobson Solicitors

Many thanks to those who gave up their valuable time for free in order to input into the review of the e-learning sessions and or took part in the filmed interviews.

How to access

In order to access any e-LfH programme, you will need an e-LfH account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below.

Register >

If you already have an account with e-LfH, then you can enrol on to the Mental Capacity Act programme by logging in to the e-LfH Hub, selecting My Account > Enrolment and selecting the programme. You can then access the programme immediately in the My e-Learning section.

e-LfH is a Health Education England Programme in partnership with the NHS and Professional Bodies