More than 200 of the UK’s leading legal and healthcare professionals gathered on Thursday for the Tenth Annual Review of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, in York.
Hosted by Switalskis Solicitors’ Court of Protection team, the one-day conference brought together legal and healthcare practitioners, who are all intrinsic to the safeguarding and care of vulnerable adults. The conference comes at a time when the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is undergoing a period of change, with imminent substantial amendments to the Act being made.
Providing a platform for discussion, training and collaboration, the conference covered issues that are critical to people who lack mental capacity and issues arising in end of life decision making. The range of speakers and topics allowed for a full and comprehensive review of the Mental Capacity Act now and moving forward, highlighting the differing perspectives and challenges that will be faced in the months to come.
Aimed at advocates and those working in the field of community care, adult social care and health care, as well as voluntary organisations and charities, the conference attracts professionals from across the UK.
Delegates heard from highly regarded speakers in the field of mental capacity, including Bridget Dolan QC, Serjeants’ Inn; Elena Hutchinson, advocate at ONE Advocacy Derby; Lorraine Cavanagh on behalf of Joseph O’Brien, Barrister at St John’s Buildings; Dr Nick Brindle, Consultant Psychiatrist; Neil Allen, Barrister at 39 Essex Chambers and Her Honour Judge Finnerty.
The conference also included breakout sessions which were led by Switalskis Solicitors representatives and Michael Mylonas QC. The sessions addressed key issues arising in end-of-life decision making; the role of the financial deputy; and the role of the Court of Protection in the discharge of restricted mental health patients.
Michael Kennedy, Barrister and Director at Switalskis Solicitors, said: “The Mental Capacity Act has a variety of applications across millions of people in the UK. Our annual conference has followed the development of the Act over its first ten years and hopes to do so over the next ten years.
“At a time when significant changes are being made to the Act, the conference has provided an opportunity to connect with peers and allowed for a comprehensive review of the Act at present and moving forwards.”