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On 1 October 2007, the Mental Capacity Act came fully into force. The act aims to protect people who cannot make decisions for themselves due to a learning disability or a mental health condition, for example Alzheimer's disease, or for any other reason. It provides clear guidelines for carers and professionals about who can take decisions in which situations.
The Act states that everyone should be treated as able to make their own decisions until it is shown that they can't. It also aims to enable people to make their own decisions for as long as they are capable of doing so.
The Act also intends to protect people who lose the capacity to make their own decisions. It will:
Allow the person, while they are still able, to appoint someone (for example a trusted relative or friend) to make decisions on their behalf once they lose the ability to do so. Previously, the law only covered financial matters.
Ensure that decisions that are made on the person's behalf are in their best interests.
Introduce a Code of Practice for people such as healthcare workers who support people who have lost the capacity to make their own decisions.
People with no one to act for them will also be able to leave instructions for their care under the new provisions.
North Lincolnshire Council can give advice on a number of issues including accidents at work and emergencies, such as floods.
Advice can also be given on council tax benefit and housing benefit. These are Government benefits that can help to pay your council tax and rent.
The council has a network of Local Link offices across North Lincolnshire that provide access to all council services. Local Link staff are fully trained to give information and advice and can also put you in touch with other non-council services.