can any one help mental health act

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by ghostdog_u.k, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. ghostdog_u.k

    ghostdog_u.k Registered User

    Feb 25, 2006
    3
    Isle of Wight
    #1 ghostdog_u.k, Nov 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2007
    Hi not sure if am posting this in the right place but here goes....

    My mum is in a council run care home in lancashire and is in late stages of alzheimers and deteriorated a lot in a year.

    my step dad is the nearest relative she has, most of my mums family live on the isle of wight as do I, and try to get up once a year minimum to see her, however my brother tried to see my mum and travelled the 300 mile trip, only to be stopped by my step dad saying as he hasn't been bothered sooner he's not seeing her now.

    What I need to know is can a relative have the powers to stop someone visiting,? is it down to the care home and social workers? :(:confused::mad:
     
  2. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    I've moved this into the main forum as it is more likely to be noticed here. I'm afraid that I don't know the answer to your question, but hopefully someone will.
     
  3. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    hi there.visiting can only be stopped by the home if the home feel there is cause for concern to the resident or if the resident requests that you don't visit.nobody else has the power to stop you without a reasonable explanation to which the resident agrees.hope it helps.elainex
     
  4. jude1950

    jude1950 Registered User

    Mar 23, 2006
    182
    Lincolnshire
    Hi.
    My Husband is in residential care and although his brother has not been in constant touch over many years he has taken it upon himself to visit my husband after each of his visits my husband is extremely unsettled. His brother after one hours visit per week is now an expert on dementia and keeps telling my husband that he should not be in a nursing home!!
    this causes a great deal of stress and anxiety for my husband. I have not got the authority to stop anyone visiting even though I am his wife.If I were you I should perhaps contact the nursing home direct and ask if there is any reason that your mother cannot have visitors. I have no knowledge of your step father but he perhaps is anxious that your mum will be upset or confused if your brother has not been in contact for some time.
    My step son came to see his father and was taken aback when his dad did not recognise him this was after a gap of 9 months since last seeing him.
     
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    You mention the mental health act. The problem is, no one has much if any real life experience of how the new act works. From posts elsewhere on the forum it does seem to give many more powers to the "decision maker" than would have existed before, if that person chooses to avail themselves of them.

    Having said that, I think Judith has raised an important point. As you say yourself, your mother has degenerated considerably. It is entirely possible that a once yearly visit may cause her more rather than less distress, and this may be where your step-father and the care home are coming from. I suppose what I'm saying is that all of your mother's family need to try to work together for her benefit. If the lines of communication have broken down, it might be helpful to consult her social worker - perhaps she/he could act as an intermediary.

    I'm sorry your brother went 300 miles and then was unable to visit. Did he not get in touch before hand to say he was coming?
     
  6. KatherineW

    KatherineW Volunteer Moderator

    Oct 2, 2007
    12,654
    London
    Hi there

    Just to clarify: I suspect that you might mean the new Mental Capacity Act rather than the Mental Health Act, as the Mental Capacity Act covers issues such as this.

    A Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare does have the authority to decide who the ‘donor’ (i.e. your mum) has contact with - but they are also charged with acting in the best interests of the donor. If they are not doing this - e.g. by trying to deny people access to the donor for no good reason - then a home/social services would be able to override them (using an argument around what is deemed to be in the donor's best interests).

    Assuming your stepdad has not got Lasting Powers of Attorney (given that the MCA only came into force in October this year), there is no-one appointed to make such a decision anyway.

    Hope this helps,

    Katherine
     
  7. ghostdog_u.k

    ghostdog_u.k Registered User

    Feb 25, 2006
    3
    Isle of Wight
    hi thank you all so much for your words of advice, I do understand that my step dad could be thinking of my mums best interests, although I am still trying to get my head around a son/daughter not being able to visit their mother. I am trying again to ring the care home in the morning ( every number I have does not work:mad:), I will then find out how mum is qlarify any issues and travel the 300 mile trip even if it is only a five minute visit, and the last thing I want to do is distress my mum. Jon
     
  8. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Sorry to seem to be a stick in the mud on this one.As you cannot contact the home,may i ask where or who? gave you the number in the first place!if you get what i mean.was it your stepdad?if so then it may explain why you cannot contact the home,is it the right number?Sorry but another stick to put in the mud is that if the home is not familiar with you or you are not on a contact list they may well not tell you anything if you do get through.Confidentiality is foremost in any patient care establishment for obvious reasons,any tom dick or harry can claim to be a relative on the phone.i'm afraid that if your not a contact the home may tell you nothing of your mums well being.
    sorry my post is not a positive one,but don't forget that it takes mum to say she does't want you there,nobody else.chin up matey.keep us posted

    love elainex
     
  9. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    MENTAL CAPACITY ACT thought of me and pleas to all who may be involved from here on

    Hello, one and all.

    I apologise in advance for the long-windedness of that which follows, but I am seriously concerned about what is now going on, much of which is A LEARNING CURVE for the so-called professionals --- or so I was told yesterday, and the day before!!

    Firstly, may I comment on one point: the Mental HEALTH act and the Mental CAPACITY Act are very different. I know very little about the Mental HEALTH Act, so make no comment on that.

    As I understand it, The Mental Capacity Act is designed to PROTECT those who are in need of help with making decisions, and to ASSIST those dealing with people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions about their personal welfare, or their property and affairs. And from my experience of it over the last 2 months, each and every decision has to be evaluated on the day. In other words, if one day a person is capable of saying "No, I understand what having a bath means, and today I don't want to have a bath", then that decision has to be respected. Whereas on another day, if that same person is deemed incapable of even understanding what "having a bath" means, or why a bath may be advisable in their best interests, then someone MAY BE CHARGED with the responsibility for DECIDING whether it is in the best interests of the person to have a bath. They will be required to show at a future stage, if challenged and questioned over that decision, what steps they have taken/how/why/when/where and so on.

    Apologies, if that seems a fairly simple description, but I am being told day after day that it all depends on the decision to be made on the day, and on the ability of "A Person" to understand that particular decision on the day it needs to be made, and to retain the information for long enough to understand the implications of a decision. (My latest hurdle is the Data Protection Act, and the rules governing Confidentiality, but that is my problem, related to my specific situation, so not related to this problem.)

    I can suggest that if you know the name and address of the care home (which I take it you do, because you have tried to visit), then go to the CSCI internet website, where you can look up the CSCI report on your particular care home, and where the name of the Manager, and his/her contact details - including telephone number of the care home are displayed. Or even go into the local Citizens Advice Bureau and ask them to research it for you.

    I agree that if there is a registered EPA, or nowadays LPA in place, then that person is charged with deciding what is in the "best interests" of whoever donated that power. But anyone has the right to challenge that decision. The problem I am having at the moment is that I am told the only way I can challenge a decision is to make an application to the Court of Protection, with all the distress that entails.

    Today I cannot relate to your particular circumstances, because I have just filled in the 68 pages of application to the Court of Protection to be appointed my relative's Deputy, so that I may have some ongoing influence over her life and her welfare. Just as she had over the many (many!) years of my life, and that I have had for the many recent years that she has been in neeed of assistance from a genuinely caring relative. At the moment, the only person with that legally recognised influence appears to be the unappointed-by-the-Courts social worker.

    I like to think that I am a "realist" and have been known for my "positive thinking" over the years, but I am beginning to be seriously challenged by all of the nonsense coming my way. The latest is that each and every question I ask in the best interests of my aunt has to be evaluated by REFERRING UPWARDS, each and every day. So I have at long last decided to apply to be appointed her Deputy, and to complete the 68 pages of forms, and to submit my cheques for £400 plus a further £125 if I am appointed, plus any ongoing fees to the Court if required. No problem for me, those sums of money - I am very lucky, I know, to be able to afford them, and to be able to fill in those 68 pages of forms. But it is enormously difficult. And I do not for one moment underestimate the problems that all of this will present to those caring relatives who may not be as able as I am to handle that which it now entails. (Side note: solicitors will be rubbing their hands with glee that many of us will be asking for their help.)

    I hope and pray that modifications will be made to the requirements quoted under this Mental Capacity Act that are coming my way. I do not envy anyone who has to travel this road. It is unfair to each of us, and more importantly to those we care about.

    Bye for now folks, and I wish you well, Les, in gaining the right to vist and to CARE.

    Katie
     
  10. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,854
    Wigan, Lancs
    The 'new, Court of Protection

    The New Court of Protection


    I went to a talk last night given by one of the Court of Protection judges about the ‘new’ Court of Protection.

    Previously there has been one ‘master’ of the Court of Protection who held all the hearings in London. This particular judge who spoke last night became the first deputy master in a pilot scheme which he helped set up a few years ago and which has become a model for the new Court of Protection. He is based in Preston and has dealt with all hearings in the North in recent times. Under the new scheme they have trained many new judges to hear cases and they will be based around the country in Manchester/Preston, Birmingham, Cardiff and Newcastle (I think).

    I was very encouraged by the down to earth and practical way in which this judge views problems with people who may lack capacity. This is probably helped by the fact that he has a son who suffers from severe learning difficulties, and I got the impression that he had had a battle or two himself with the ‘powers that be’.

    One interesting point he made was that under the Mental Capacity Act the concept of ‘capacity’ has changed. Under the old law if a person was adjudged to lack capacity, they lost all power to make decisions for themselves. Under the new act the test of whether they lack capacity will depend on the decision they are being asked to make. For example, someone with dementia or other mental impairment, may be entirely capable of deciding whether or not they want to buy an ice cream, but may be incapable of deciding whether they should sell their stocks and shares. The problem he saw with this is it doesn’t fit with the ‘tick box’ society in which we live. A person may be entirely capable of deciding that they want to cash a cheque for £10, but if the following day they want to withdraw £10,000, they may lack the capacity to make such a decision. How would the banks cope with this?

    This judge was computer-literate, giving us the talk with Power Point; he types up all his own orders and then emails them to the Office of the Public Guardian in PDF form to stop the bureaucrats from altering them! He even revealed that he liked a blast of Queen on the car stereo when driving between London and Preston.:)

    His hands on approach means that when hearing a case, for example between a son and a daughter about should look after Mum’s affairs, he will send all parties out of the court room except for Mum, get the usher to bring in 2 cups of tea and sit and talk with mum to get her views. Mum may not be able to deal with her financial affairs, but may be able to express an opinion as to whether she would prefer son or daughter to deal with her affairs, which goes back to the test of capacity being dependent on the decision the person is being asked to make. You may be able to imagine that this approach does not go down too well some of the barristers he has had in his court, armed with their legal arguments. He is not averse to holding hearings in people’s homes if this is more practical.

    He has been involved in choosing and training many of the judges who will now sit in the Court of Protection and he hopes that this practical and non legalistic approach will prevail. The main concern he had was over the level of fees which have been introduced (which of course is not the judiciary’s decision). He felt that these would prove prohibitive to the people who really need the help of the Court.

    So, if anyone is considering an approach to the Court of Protection, I hope you will be encouraged that if matters reach the courtroom you can expect to encounter a judge who lives in the real world and you will not be bamboozled by legal argument.
     
  11. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Wow! Judges who live in the real world? :eek:


    That's very promising, Sue. Thanks.
     
  12. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    I must say, Sue, that is very encouraging. Now if only he could get that attitude to filter down the line, particularly to those social services departments who have appointed themselves "decsion makers".
     
  13. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Mental Capacity Act: Great News! Yippee!

    Dear Sue38 - you will be my buddy for life, with your permission of course.

    You arrived here today before my very eyes on a day when I have yelled YIPPEE, over and over again. OK, GUYS AND GALS out there, I know I have been full of doom and gloom since first coming your way on TP, but I am now full of hope. Hope not just for my relative, or for me, but for each and every person who comes up against the Mental Capacity Act.

    For those of you who don't know, I came up against the Mental Capacity Act on 5 October 2007, a mere 4 days after the latest developments became law on 1st October. On that day I was told by social worker that she herself had been appointed the "decision maker" about all of my 83-year old Aunt's affairs. Subsequently I was assured by all and sundry in SS - that she had that power, and that the only way I could "challenge" her decisions was to apply to the Court of Protection. And as I was told by her immediate boss, it could be a "protracted and very distressing process". iT IS, BUT MORE OF THAT LATER.

    So, I went away, went fairly quiet (even though I am not renowned for QUIET!!), did a lot of further research into the MCA (Mental Capacity Act), read all and I mean all of the Code of Practice, and then went away, again, and went VERY QUIET.

    Then, sat down and filled in all the forms required by the Court of Protection - 68 PAGES - for me to be appointed my Aunt's Deputy. (She had no EPA in place beforehand; an LPA is now not possible because her vascular dementia progressed too quickly for even me - brave beast that I may be, but I am above all a REALIST - to be able to get one in place because I know that she does not have the slightest ability to understand what that may be. I do every single thing that I do on behalf of her legally and decently, so I did not even for one moment contemplate an LPA.

    Then last week I wrote a very very carefully considered 3-page letter, explaining to all and sundry again, why I wished her to move out of the assessment ward where she has been languishing since ... too long! Why I objected to their reasonings so far, about the "decision maker" appointment without may knowledge, or even without informing me of the "decision making meeting".

    And tomorrow, she will be moving to my chosen residential care home. I know that I will still have hurdles to jump along the line, but meanwhile A POSITIVE STEP FORWARD. "One step at a time" has always been my motto in life, and will continue to be so.

    Crunch point, I feel, may have been when I said I had indeed taken legal advice, and that I would indeed challenge the way in which decisions had been made UNDER THE GUISE of the MCA. Even though I had to point out that they should have convened a formal BEST INTERESTS CASE CONFERENCE, when everybody who had a voice had a chance to make their views known, before each and every person who cares about my Aunt. I will still be submitting those 68-pages to the Court of Protection, and I know that I may well have mucked up many of those pages, they are not exactly designed to help us, but

    and this is where I come back to you, Dear Sue, http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/talkingpoint/discuss/images/smilies/smile.gif
    :)you have given me the hope that the Judge whoever he/she may be will have received the wisdom from your Preston-based Judge and Father and Caring person.

    Today is the first day I have truly enjoyed for the last 2 months!!

    PS ALMOST: Dear Connie, listened to you on Radio 4 this morning, and have read the articles in the press - THANK YOU, for saying on air, ALL THOSE THINGS I HAVE SPENT THE LAST 2 YEARS WRITING ABOUT AND PHONING ABOUT AND PLEADING ABOUT! How did you come to have such a public forum, which hopefully will kick those who DON'T CARE up the ......!!! Well done!

    KATIE WITH THE BIG SMILE!
     
  14. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Oh Katie, what great news. I am so pleased for you.

    Love
     
  15. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    I Forgot To Say ....

    that just in case my Social Worker is reading this - and she may well be, as may be her boss and her boss's boss for all I know - my fight has never been with you personally, merely with the way in which you have been ADVISED to interpret the Mental Capacity Act and the way in which you have been ADVISED to put that advice into practice.

    I know that she is merely doing her job - and that she has to take advice - but THANK YOU SO MUCH SOCIAL WORKER AND BOSS PERSONS FOR LISTENING ... and also FOR HEARING me. There is a distinct difference between LISTENING and HEARING - and we all need to be HEARD AND LISTENED TO.

    Katie with the big smile! Long may it continue. http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/talkingpoint/discuss/images/smilies/smile.gif
    :)
     
  16. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    10,854
    Wigan, Lancs
    Hi Katie,

    I'm glad I have made someone's day. :) I hesitated about posting in such detail about what the judge had said as it was a small meeting of lawyers, but decided that he would have no objection to opening up the way the court works to non lawyers.

    Having read your post I am very glad I did.

    Great news about your aunt, keep battling!
     
  17. Chrissyan

    Chrissyan Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    570
    N E England
  18. 117katie

    117katie Guest

    Chrissyan

    Shall do!! As instructed!

    Katie:)
     

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