National Conference on the Mental Capacity Act


1 day
09 Jul, 2019
9.30 to 16.45 (registration from 9am)
£108 early bird before 9 May 2019
£138 regular
including lunch and refreshments
All prices include VAT MORE INFO
St Christopher's Hospice, London
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Useful information

Use and relevance at the end of life

About the event

Following the success of this course in 2018, this study day develops the themes of how good practice should look in relation to palliative and hospice settings. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 can be seen as an aspirational piece of legislation, it remains a challenge for professionals to ensure that the principles and guidance around best practice are followed in a consistent, person-centred, way.

There are many challenges to best practice – with capacity at end of life continuing to be a particular area of challenge due to the combined impact of illness, medication, and prevalence of fluctuating ability to make decisions.

This study day aims to introduce an overview of the challenges, whilst also providing the opportunity to consider what best practice looks like – from assessment, best interests and on to Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. The course draws upon the learning collected from the hundreds of decision specific capacity assessments, best interest meetings and the applications for specific patient DOLs made by St Christopher’s social workers.

There will be consideration of relevant case law, and the interplay between capacity and other legislative frameworks including the Care Act 2014 (with particular reference to the interface with Adult Safeguarding) and the Mental Health Act 1983.

There will be chance for learning to be applied in reference to a case study, culminating in a plenary session where delegates share their own thoughts, learning and experience.

The day will conclude with a question and answer session, which will allow delegates to devise an ongoing plan regarding their own personal learning needs.

  • What will I learn?

    The day will cover the following areas:

    • Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards case law
    • Best interest meetings: how decisions should be reached and recorded
    • Unwise decisions and best interest: balancing happiness, safety and duty of care
    • Working with people with fluctuating capacity.
  • Who is it for?

    This study day is for professionals from any setting working with patients who are approaching end of life. It will be of particular interest to those who are responsible for assessing mental capacity and deprivation of liberty safeguards.

  • Course speakers

    We will hear from leaders in the field including:

    • Alex Ruck-Keene Barrister, 39 Essex Street
    • Vincent Docherty Head of Patient and Family Support, St Christopher’s Hospice and previous Head of Safeguarding, London Borough of Croydon
    • Professor Rob George Medical Director, St Christopher’s Hospice
    • Dr Emma Hall Consultant in Palliative Medicine, St Christopher’s Hospice
  • Programme

    9.30 Welcome and Introduction

    Vincent Docherty, Head of Patient and Family Support, St Christopher’s

    9.45 Opening Comments

    Professor Rob George, Medical Director, St Christopher’s

    10.15 Overview of MCA and DoLS Case Law

    Alex Ruck Keene, Barrister, 39 Essex Chambers

    11.45 BREAK
    12.00 Working with patients who self-neglect and have fluctuating capacity.

    A reflection on the challenges of being the decision maker at best interest meetings

    Dr Emma Hall, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, St Christopher’s

    12.30 The specific needs of people with delirium in frailty.

    Its significance and relevance in relation to decision specific capacity assessments for practitioners

    Professor Caroline Nicholson, Palliative Care & Ageing, University of Surrey; St Christopher’s

    2.00 Simulated best interest meeting

    Alex Ruck Keene, Barrister, 39 Essex Chambers

    Professor Rob George, Medical Director, St Christopher’s

    Vincent Docherty, Head of Patient and Family Support, St Christopher’s

    Sally Mercer, PhD Student and Association of Palliative Care Social Workers

    Helen Scott, Palliative Care Nurse Lecturer, St Christopher’s 

    3.00 Workshop 1 – Understanding and working with delirium

    Professor Caroline Nicholson, Palliative Care & Ageing, University of Surrey; St Christopher’s

    Workshop 2 – Working with integrated health and social work teams and the role of decision makers and chairs in acknowledging and resolving conflict during best interest meetings

    Dr Emma Hall, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, St Christopher’s

    Vincent Docherty, Head of Patient and Family Support, St Christopher’s

    Workshop 3 – The future use of the LPS at the End of Life

    Alex Ruck Keene, Barrister, 39 Essex Chambers

    4.00 Feedback from workshops
    4.15 Closing Remarks and Evaluations
    4.45 Finish
    Download programme

More information


If you have any questions about this or any of our other courses, please contact the Education team who will be happy to help

020 8768 4656

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    020 8768 4656

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Learning at St Christopher’s

St Christopher's Education
Our programme

Why our education programme?

We have a well-established programme of high quality, cutting-edge, specialist palliative care education, designed for those working in the UK and internationally.
Studying here

Why St Christopher's?

Education is at the heart of St Christopher’s mission to promote and provide hospice care of the highest standards.
How we educate

Why our way of learning

Including the Namaste toolkit

Library and bookshop
Containing material on all aspects of palliative care, death and bereavement

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St Christopher’s Education Centre and VAT charges

At St Christopher's, a registered charity, it is important for us to maximise any surpluses to reinvest in the objectives of the charity.

Unfortunately, the manner in which we undertake our training currently means we are not able to invest as much of our surplus as possible, therefore from the 1 December 2017, St Christopher’s Education Centre will charge VAT at the standard rate on our training courses, the reason for this change in pricing is twofold:

i) We want to be able to reinvest any surpluses made from training back into all of our charitable objectives rather than only Education

ii) We want to be able to reclaim the VAT on costs relating to developing and running the training courses