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Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015

  • 18 Jan 2017

HSE National Implementation Programme

Please see below for an email circulated by the HSE.

The Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act was signed into law on the 30th December 2015. This Act applies to everyone and is relevant to all health and social care services.  The Act is about supporting decision making and maximising a person’s capacity to make decisions.

Some sections of the Act have been commenced. This includes sections to establish the Decision Support Service which will oversee the Act, appoint a Director of the Decision Support Service and establish a multi-disciplinary working group to draft recommendations for a Code of Practice on Advance Healthcare Directives. Full commencement is estimated for 2018.

The HSE is working to prepare staff and services for full commencement of the Act.  A National Steering Group has been established and includes staff, service users and expert advisers.  The steering group is preparing guidance for staff on what the Act will mean for day to day practice and there will be a national consultation on this guidance in early 2017.  We will be in touch with further details.

Professional bodies, service user groups and advocates will also be consulted.

The steering group is also preparing a training and education programme to support staff and services to use the Act in their every day services.  A website has been developed to provide updated information on what the HSE is doing and when the Act might be commenced. 

There are a number of things that you can do to prepare yourself for commencement of the Act:

  • Look at for updates and more information
  • Assume that everyone has capacity to make decisions unless it is proven otherwise
  • Seek to support and make decision making accessible for all service users in the first instance
  • Be aware that decision making is issue specific and time specific- the inability to make one decision does not mean an inability to make all decisions
  • Be aware that people have a right to make unwise decisions
  • Ensure that any intervention that needs to take place is done so in a manner that is least restrictive
  • Watch the videos from the conference on the website.

Please contact Jacqueline Grogan or Marie Tighe  if you want more information about the Act.