Embargo: Wednesday October 1, 2014

ADASS President David Pearson said: “We support the need to ensure that the right decisions are made in the best interests of people who lack capacity, and that these decisions are made as quickly as possible. This is the intention behind the Mental Capacity Act 2005. We provided evidence to the Court of Protection on the impact of the Supreme Court Judgment earlier this year which has led to a very large increase in the number of people who now require assessment by local authorities or application to the Court. We have also written to the Government outlining the impact and concerns.

“We have led a Task Group at the government’s request to ensure that this is being done as effectively as possible but we have pointed out to the government that an urgent change in the law and more resources (£88 million is required) are needed to ensure that this new work is funded: this at a time when social care has had to make 26% savings over four years.

“The findings from the FOI requests are broadly consistent with our survey taken at the beginning of June. Given the scale of the sudden increase (ten fold) and the need to recruit and train more staff the delays are very regrettable but inevitable.

The government has so far not agreed to our proposals for action on the change of the law but have referred this to the Law Commission for what is likely to be a lengthy review. They have not agreed to the request to fund the increased activity and have stated they want to see how this progresses and receive further evidence of the increase in people who need this support. 

“This matter is very urgent and the government needs to share responsibility with us for urgently responding to the challenge of getting this right for people who lack capacity.”


For further information contact:
DREW CLODE, ADASS POLICY/PRESS ADVISER, 020 8348 5023/07976 837755