Family barristers ‘pick up the pieces’ of poor care provision

Family barristers are frequently being left to pick up the pieces after failings in care for vulnerable adults, particularly due to a lack of understanding and awareness of the Mental Capacity Act, says the Law Society.

The MCA is the legal framework designed to protect vulnerable adults who are not mentally capable of making decisions about their own care.

In principle, those who make decisions on their behalf are required to consult widely before doing so, with the provision that any decisions they make should be in the best interests of the individual.

However, the Law Society says this does not always happen, leaving family law specialists to step in and try to resolve situations where the duty of care has failed.

Nicola Mackintosh from the Law Society Mental Health and Disability Committee says: “Safeguarding the dignity and wellbeing of people with impaired capacity should be a priority for government.

“Solicitors often handle the aftermath of poor implementation of the Act and it is essential that steps are taken to increase awareness.”

If you have a relative who you think has been failed in the provision of care under the MCA, family barristers may be able to assist you in taking action, potentially to win the right to make decisions on their behalf in the future.