MPs warn care homes about the costs of mental capacity bill

Human rights MPs have warned care home managers about the potential administration costs of proposed new mental capacity legislation.

Human rights MPs say the assumption is flawed that “there will be no net change in costs to providers of authorisations and administration”.

Chair Harriet Harman MP said: “We believe [the Government] significantly underestimates the resources required for implementation.”

 In a new report, human rights joint select committee MPs also raise specific concerns about the statements to be made by care home managers under the draft legislation. They point out that this does not include a record of the assessment of necessity and proportionality – only the capacity and medical assessments. They say: “We have serious reservations about whether the Bill does enough to protect those who are at risk of unlawful detention.” 

The MPs have called for a number of extra human rights safeguards to be put in place, including a duty to consult the cared-for person directly; and for a broader criterion for referral to an Authorised Mental Capacity Professional (including situations such as when a cared-for person is prohibited contact with named persons, when the person is deprived of their liberty for psychiatric treatment, or for those with very high levels of restraint). The also seek stronger rights for independent advocacy, and for relatives or those with a genuine relationship with the cared-for person to be able to raise objections.

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