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Consultation on incapacity legislation

26th August 2005

People who may not always be able to make their own decisions as a result of an illness like dementia, and those who live and work with them - including banking, legal, finance, health and social care professionals - are being invited to have a say in how new mental capacity legislation will work in practice.

Workshops will be held to allow people with either direct personal experience of incapacity, and their carers, to feed back their personal experience of making decisions to ensure that the Code of Practice really reflects the needs of the people it is intended to help.

Minister responsible for the Mental Capacity Act at the Department
for Constitutional Affairs, Cathy Ashton said: "Any one of us could be unable to make our own decisions or have a relative diagnosed with dementia. Sadly, such situations are the reality for millions of people in this country and that is why the Mental Capacity Act is so important.

"It creates a legal framework under which all decisions about people who lack capacity must be taken. It touches on every aspect of a person's life, from day to day decisions about how to spend or invest money, what to wear, to decisions about medical treatment or where to live.

"I hope people directly affected by a lack of capacity and those that live and work with them will take this important opportunity to get involved in working out to make this legislation work in practice."

The workshops will be held during October across England and Wales and will cover issues such as how to support someone to make decisions in the key areas of finance, welfare and health and how to assess capacity.

Anyone interested in attending the workshop in Leeds on October 3rd, Cardiff on October 18th or in West London on October 18th should contact: vanessa.rogers@dca.gsi.gov.uk as soon as possible.