Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [HL]

Written evidence submitted by Liz Spires (MCAB72)

I am a social worker employed by a local authority in the Midlands, within its adult directorate.

Having read the proposed changes to the current level of protection for people judged to lack capacity, I am writing to express my deep concern at one aspect of this in particular. The changes are reported to include removing the requirement to ensure decisions are made in a person's best interests. This is a fundamental principle, a vital protection for anyone lacking capacity and a key part if the legislation currently in place. Please remember that any one of us could lose capacity overnight eg through the effects of a stroke, or an accident, leaving us quite literally at the mercy of others. It is vital this protection remains in place. Removing it may well 'streamline' the dols process initially, but will open the door to the risk of extensive loss of human rights, potentially also to lengthy and extremely expensive (in terms of cost + time) appeals to the Courts.

Please rethink this. I ask you to put yourselves in the shoes of people living in circumstances without redress or a voice, as this is the future for thousands of people if you do not change this aspect of the Bill.

Kind regards,

Liz Spires 

January 2019


Prepared 22nd January 2019