Call for more clarity on advocates’ role

Planned government guidance on the new Mental Capacity Act must give more clarity on the role of advocates, campaigners have warned.

Responding to the consultation on a draft code of practice, which ended last week, the Making Decisions Alliance, a coalition of 40 older people’s and disability organisations, said it was disappointing there was no definition of independent advocacy.

The act provides a framework to protect vulnerable people who are unable to make their own decisions and establishes the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate service.

The alliance said the draft code did not clarify how an advocate would support an individual in practice or establish when someone is considered unbefriended and therefore entitled to an advocate.

In its response, Action for Advocacy called for more detail on the availability of advocacy.

The English Community Care Association said the costs of the act to the independent care sector had been inadequately accounted for. It said it was essential to ring-fence funding for independent providers and “not rely on the goodwill of local authorities”.


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