The right to decide: towards a greater understanding of mental capacity and deprivation of liberty

Local Government and Social Ombudsman, July 2017

This report finds that vulnerable people are being forced into situations against their will because care providers are not going through the proper processes.  The report highlights concerns about the way some of the most vulnerable people in society are being treated when decisions are being made on behalf of people who lack mental capacity to choose how they are cared for.

Problems include assessments to determine whether someone has the capacity to make decisions for themselves, poor decision making when deciding on someone’s best interests, and not involving friends and families in the decision process.  The Ombudsman’s investigations show that some councils and care providers do not properly understand the processes for making decisions on behalf of people who lack mental capacity.

The report offers advice and guidance to social care professionals on how to get things right when working with people who may lack mental capacity. It also provides questions councillors can use for scrutinising their own authorities to ensure people in their area are treated properly.

Click here to access the full report.