A new guide is available to help people plan for the future and make informed decisions about their personal welfare, property and financial affairs.
The booklet, titled ‘Health Is Everyone’s Business’, is aimed at helping people plan for a time when they are unable to make decisions due to lost capacity. It has been published to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from May 14 to 20.
Published by the Centre for BME Health, the guide explains the Mental Capacity Act, and features three advance planning options: how to make an advance decision to refuse treatment, how to make a statement of your wishes and feelings, and a lasting power of attorney (LPA).
The guide includes tips on how to write an advance plan and provides links and information on useful organisations. It also provides examples of statements of advance decisions to refuse treatment and statements of wishes and feelings.
Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Director of NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands and Professor of Primary Care Diabetes & Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester, said: “The Mental Capacity Act exists to protect those individuals who are unable to make important decisions for themselves but it can be a complicated and daunting process.
“This booklet helps simplify the language and the process involved, not just for the individual but for all those involved at what can be a particularly traumatic time. It stresses the importance of making an advance decision, to take ownership of their future.
“If an individual has been deemed to lack capacity and there is no advance decision in place, the final decision will be made by the relevant specialist, such as a doctor.”
The 32-page booklet is intended for individuals, their friends and family and a host of healthcare professionals including carers, community workers, charities and emergency services.