Mental health legislation


England and Wales

Mental Capacity Act -2005) - This is the link to the most recent version of the Mental Capacity Act -2005)

Mental Capacity -Amendment) Act - 2019) - The Amendment Act amends the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in relation to deprivation of liberty where the person lacks capacity to consent.

Mental Health Act - 1983) Code of Practice - The code of practice advises professionals on how to carry out their responsibilities under the Mental Health Act 1983, and provide high quality and safe care.

Mental Health Act - 1983) - This is the link to the Mental Health Act -1983)

Mental Health Act - 2007) - This link is to the paper amending the Mental Health Act -2007) and includes a summary of updates to the 1983 version.

NICE Quality Standard [QS194] – Decision making and mental capacity - This quality standard covers decision making in people aged 16 and over, using health and social care services who may lack capacity to make their own decisions -now or in the future). It aims to support implementation of the aims and principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and relevant Codes of Practice.


Adults with Incapacity - Scotland) Act 2000 - The Adults with Incapacity -Scotland) Act 2000 creates provisions for protecting the welfare of adults who are unable to make decisions for themselves because of a mental disorder or an inability to communicate.

The Mental Health - Care and Treatment) -Scotland) Act 2003 - As amended in 2017 by the Mental Health -Scotland) Act 2015

Useful resources

BMA Mental Capacity Act toolkit - 2020) - This toolkit acts as a prompt to doctors when they are providing care and treatment for people who lack, or who may lack, the mental capacity to make decisions on their own behalf.

RCGP Mental Capacity Act-MCA) Toolkit for Adults in England and Wales - This tool kit is designed provide information and support for the application of the Mental Capacity Act to GPs and Primary Care Staff.

Patient and carer information

CQC – Your rights under the Mental Health Act-This website is designed for people detained under the Mental Health Act to explain their rights.

Further information and reading

CQC – Mental Health Act Code of Practice - This 2015 document by the Care Quality Commission is an interesting evaluation of how the code is being used and areas for improvement.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards - DoLS) - eLFH - This series of modules looks at the background to DoLS, making an assessment and the process of obtaining a DoLS authorisation.

Reforming the Mental Health Act – Summary of Consultation - This document summarises the main changes to the Mental Health Act which are proposed. The consultation on changes to the Mental Health Act has resulted in 154 recommendations for improvement.

Second Opinion Appointed Doctors - SOAD) - The CQC is responsible for the appointment of SOADs. The role of the SOAD is to decide whether the treatment recommended is clinically defensible and whether due consideration has been given to the views and rights of the patient.

Section 12 Approval - Approval under Section 12 of the Mental Health Act confers the ability to deprive individuals of their liberty and curtail their human rights. Section 12-2) of the Mental Health Act 1983 requires that, in those cases where two medical recommendations for the compulsory admission of a mentally disordered person to hospital are required, one of the two must be made by a practitioner approved for the purposes of that section.