Skip to content


Coronavirus: Updates and advice

The site usage is optimised for Chrome, Edge and Firefox

Text size:
  • Home
  • Information for professionals

11th Annual Mental Capacity Act Conference - 18 February 2020

"Keynote speech - very interesting, challenged my practice in a positive way, made me think again about simple things, but also more complex situations. The way he spoke was very approachable and easy to understand, but still very professional. He got my attention for the whole time. Absolutely amazing!"

"I found workshops the most useful part of the conference as they allowed for informal discussion and clarification of issues."

Quotes from delegates, February 2020

The opening address from Cllr Laura Miller celebrated the strong attendance of over 400 delegates including Dorset Council Staff as well a large number from Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole, there are also staff from the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, colleagues from Dorset Health Care Foundation Trust, the three acute hospitals, Community Teams, Advocacy Service and people from the Private and Independent Sector.

It was a real celebration of the Mental Capacity Act. Legislation that protects the rights of vulnerable people and those providing them with care and support. These are exciting times of change with national discussions around the role of the Human Rights Act and the introduction of the Liberty Protection Safeguards, as well as local plans about how best use the Mental Capacity Act to protect people’s rights.

Dorset Council is promoting strengths-based practice and the MCA is the essence of strengths-based working. It builds on people’s self-determinations, their networks of support and wishes and feelings.

Alex Ruck Keene, “the father of the Court of Protection” - barrister, writer and educator shared his thoughts on the MCA 11 years on: lessons, prospects and gaps.

Alex Ruck Keene Keynote Speech

Vikki Thomas Safe and Well Manager from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and rescue services shared her experience of Fatal Fires and the links between emollients, hospital discharge and reduced mobility.

Fire and Prevention

Delegates were able to attend 2 workshops.

MCA and assessing capacity

This session focused on the complexities and challenges of assessing capacity and the skills and knowledge needed to do it.

MCA and assessing capacity

Assessing Capacity

Guidance on Specific Capacity Assessments

Best interests decision making

This interactive session helped us to put ourselves in the shoes of those having best interest decisions make about them. Helped us think about a balance sheet approach and how the court of protection judges say.

Best interests decision making

Case law roundup

Looking at the implications of case law on practice. This update give a roundup of the latest significant cases and up-coming judgements. It started with a tribute, then discussed fluctuating capacity, the freedom to purse a sexual relationship, the interface between Mental Capacity Act and Mental Health Act, 16-17 year old clarity and finally, a baby.

Case Law Roundup

Service User Financial Affairs (SUFA)

This covered the work of the SUFA Team, Super, Unique, Fantastic, Amazing… no, Service User Financial Affairs Team. The type of cases undertaken, how to refer to them and agencies that can help those that lack capacity to manage their finances.

SUFA Workshop

Safeguarding and coercive control

This was a powerful workshop with an opportunity to consider the nature of coercive control, explore the impact of this on the person and identify pathways for support.

Safeguarding and Coercive Control

Assistive technology

This looked at the creative use of assistive technology to empower people and to minimize restrictions in care. The variety and wide range of options to assist are improving all the time. An exiting evolving area of work.

Assistive technology workshop

What is an objection?

Delegates understood the guidance from Judge Baker about 2016 case law and the role of the Relevant Persons Representative (RPR). They now feel confident in deciding if a person is objecting to their placement and how to interpret behaviour.

What is an objection?

Perinatal services - capacity issues

This covered the recent case law in this area and brought to life real case examples which the Perinatal Team have been involved in.

Perinatal Services - Capacity Issues

MCA and strengths-based practice

This looked at how we can work in a strengths-based way with those lacking capacity who are highly restricted. This session drew on lived experience from service users, carers and practitioners.

MCA and strengths-based practice

Alcohol, capacity and vulnerability

This helped us the complications of working with patients admitted to hospital due to alcohol misuse. They often pose quite a challenge in relation to assessing capacity / fluctuating capacity. A recent report from alcohol change UK looked at 11 serious case reviews where alcohol misuse was a factor.

Alcohol, capacity and vulnerability


Your feedback is important to us, complete the online evaluation form to give feedback. You will receive your certificate once this has been completed.

Useful links

The following information provides some useful background resources and links to key partners.

Dorset Care Record

Do you know a Charlie?

Care Quality Commission - Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

For further information please contact:

Mental Capacity Act Team