National council for palliative care

New DVDs Help Staff Understand the Mental Capacity Act

Two new DVDs from the National Council for Palliative Care aim to help staff better understand key parts of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA). This in turn will improve the implementation of the Act and help people receive better end of life care. The DVDs were produced with support from Shaw Healthcare.

The first DVD is about how to arrange and manage a Best Interests Meeting, which is an integral part of the MCA. These meetings take place when an individual is assessed as not having the capacity to make a specific decision about him or herself. But some staff are unclear about who to invite and how to lead a Best Interests meeting.

The DVD uses the story of “Daisy and Richard” to look at issues around communications, capacity and how to reach clear decisions without causing distress. Best Interests meetings can be emotional, but are essential for the person involved to get the care they wish for.

The second DVD is designed to support staff in developing communications skills to discuss Advance Care Planning. Although the benefits of Advance Care Planning are well-known, some people are reluctant to discuss a ACP. The DVD shows staff how to pick up on verbal and non-verbal cues to pick the right time and place to discuss an ACP without leaving people being distressed or forced into the conversation.

Claire Henry from the National Council for Palliative Care said “the Mental Capacity Act provides a powerful framework to both protect and empower people who might not always have the ability to make a specific decision for themselves. Used well, it makes a great difference to people, but some staff worry about getting something wrong. These DVDs join our training courses and other resources to help everyone – staff, patients and families – benefit fully from the Act.”


COTS 2024