Understanding mental capacity in adults and applying legislation to practice


What mental capacity is and what it means for adults in a variety of acute and community settings.


Available to RCNi Plus subscribers

This module aims to provide nurses and other care workers with an overview of mental capacity and what it means for adults in a variety of acute and community settings, including home and residential care. It examines what mental capacity is and frames this around current legislation in England and Wales, namely the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its five principles. Assessing mental capacity, best-interests decision making and lasting power of attorney are all discussed.Don't forget that you do not have to complete our two-hour learning modules all in one go. Tailor your learning to fit into your busy schedule by undertaking one or two sections at a time. You can stop and save your learning at any point and pick up where you left off when you return. Learning aims and intended outcomes Understand decision-making aspects of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and how it applies when working with adults in a care setting Describe the five principles of the Mental Capacity Act Understand how to assess capacity and identify when a best-interests decision is needed Recognise when a person with lasting power of attorney (LPA) can consent on another person's behalf and when an independent mental capacity advocate (IMCA) is needed Recognise when an advance decision to refuse treatment (ADRT) is valid and applicable Recognise a deprivation of liberty and when to apply for the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS)Disclaimer Please note that information provided by RCNi Learning is not sufficient to ensure competence in the skill. Assessment of competence should take place in line with local practice. Practice should always align with local protocols and procedures, latest guidelines and any regulatory code. All modules should currently be viewed together with available national and local Covid-19 guidelines. For advice, go to www.rcn.org.uk/covid-19

Resource last reviewed

5 Apr 2023


Emma Stevens (Designated professional for adult safeguarding, NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (North Yorkshire), England.)