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Schedule to be inserted as Schedule AA1 to the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Part of Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 22nd January 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care) 10:30 am, 22nd January 2019

The hon. Lady slightly misrepresents what I am trying to say. Of course we have seen numerous examples of how important advocacy can be—it can literally make the difference between people living a happy life that suits their needs, or being kept in a place where they feel unhappy and that does not fulfil those needs. I agree that people should be able to access advocacy, that advocates should be able to work alongside parents, and that if parents feel that they cannot take on such a role, advocates should do that work instead of parents. I also feel, however, that if parents feel that they want to do this on their own and not take on additional advice they should not be forced to, and that is probably the fundamental difference between the Government and Opposition positions. People should be allowed to make decisions for themselves if they wish, and they should not continually be forced to take advice if they do not want to.

We want to make this model person-centric—that is key—and base it on the needs of individuals. By mandating the conditions for IMCA appointments in primary legislation we would once again be prescribing a one-size-fits-all approach that does not consider someone’s individual circumstances, or the wishes and feelings of those involved and their family and loved ones. I hope hon. Members agree and will withdraw the amendment.