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Wilful neglect (under the Mental Health Act)

Section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) introduces a new offence of wilful neglect of a person who lacks capacity by someone who is caring for them, or acting as a Court Appointed Deputy or Attorney for them. That person can be guilty of wilful neglect if they have deliberately neglected a person who lacks capacity, or been reckless as to whether they were neglecting the person or not. It does not matter whether the behaviour was likely to cause, or actually caused harm or damage to the victim's health.

Wilful neglect will require a serious departure from the required standards of treatment and usually requires that a person has deliberately failed to carry out an act that they were aware they were under a duty to perform.


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