Significant judgement in Court of Protection

The Court of Protection has authorised (for the first time) the withdrawal of CANH from a woman in MCS. The judge, Hayden J, emphasised the specifics of the case and that a ‘bright line’ delineation between VS and MCS is largely, perhaps even entirely, artificial. See the full judgement here.

New Challenge Guidance

New resource for practitioners to support effective challenge

Empowerment Matters worked with VoiceAbility to produce a new Practice Guide for challenging decisions or actions with or on behalf of individuals involved with social care and health services.

The first of its kind, this Guidance provides comprehensive information to support advocates and professionals to decide on the most appropriate route to take to challenge decisions based on the person’s views and situation.  This guide will help advocates to develop a ‘tool-kit’ of different approaches in order to get the best possible outcome for people.

The full Guidance can be downloaded here: Guidance on Challenging Decisions – July 2015

The Guidance provides detailed information on the spectrum of methods to resolve issues including:

  • Taking an informal approach to challenge; when this is most appropriate and the skills required to be effective, including negotiating and influencing;
  • Formal routes to challenge; under the Mental Capacity Act 2005; Mental Health Act 1983; and Care Act 2014 as well as formal complaints processes and judicial review.

The Guide will be helpful to advocates, family members and others who often take on the crucial role of supporting people to raise their own concerns, or challenging decisions on their behalf, were necessary.  It provides essential reference materials, case examples and references to relevant Articles with Acts and Statutory Guidance and aims to increase the knowledge and confidence of those challenging decisions in often very complex situations.

The Guide was commissioned by VoiceAbility, written by Empowerment Matters with legal advice from Irwin Mitchell LLP and substantial guidance and input from advocates at VoiceAbility.

Law Commission Mental Capacity Act and DoLS consultation paper published today

The Law Commission has published its consultation paper, Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty. The paper can be accessed here. paper reviews the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (the DoLS) in England and Wales.

Chapter 9 focuses on Advocacy and the Relevant Person’s Representative. One of the provisional proposals presented in the paper is that the “provision of advocacy should be streamlined and consolidated across the Care Act and Mental Capacity Act (in its entirety), so that Independent Mental Capacity Advocates would be replaced by a system of Care Act advocacy and appropriate persons.

The consultation will run from 7th July until 2nd November 2015.

NHS Complaints Advocacy Review

Empowerment Matters, in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation, have been asked to carry out a timely review of NHS Complaints Advocacy Services by the Department of Health (DH).

The purpose of this review is to identify positive measures and practices that can be implemented across (local and national partners) to help NHS Complaints Advocacy Services maximise their impact and effectiveness.

There are 2 online surveys currently live.

One for providers of NHS Complaints Advocacy

One for referrers (either people who self refer or professionals) 

Please contact us if you would like to take part in a telephone interview.

Call 0151 203 5714

Care Act Workshops

Empowerment Matters and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Care Act Workshop – New Date

Are you prepared for the Care Act?

Following the success of our recent Care Act seminars working in partnership with Irwin Mitchell law firm, we are pleased to announce a further date in Manchester.

The workshop will be relevant to advocates or others who support individuals.

They will cover:

  • Information about the legal framework, focusing on the Act’s practical application
  • The ‘Well-being’ principle and what this means in practice
  • Best practice in ‘needs assessments’ and care & support planning
  • How the Care Act will work in practice and options for challenge
  • The independent advocate’s role under the Care Act
  • Eligibility for advocacy including interface with IMCA
  • Supported decision-making
  • Top Tips when supporting an individual whose care/support needs are being assessed.

As with our previous workshops, there will be time for participants to have their questions/queries addressed by legal professionals.

To book a place at one of the following workshops:

2nd June 2015 10 – 1pm at Irwin Mitchell offices in Manchester

please click on this link here:

DH response to House of Lords Select Committee

The DH response to the House of Lords’ enquiry into the Mental Capacity Act is available here:

See more recent news and judgements including forthcoming workshops and guidance in our June Newsletter: