How unwise decisions can make a positive difference


People generally don’t change their behaviours or do things differently until they think about something differently. And we don’t usually think differently about something until we make, or are given, time to find out more about it or the opportunity to ask further questions.

This week we are supporting the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) call to action to increase awareness of the Mental Capacity Act and to highlight good MCA practice.

Mental capacity is the ability to make decisions for yourself. People who cannot do this are said to ‘lack capacity’. This might be due to injury, a learning disability, mental health problem or a condition such as dementia that may affect the way a person’s brain makes decisions.

The Act covers important decision making relating to an individual’s property, financial affairs, and health and social care. It also applies to everyday decisions, such as personal care, what to wear and what to eat. It can help people, their carers and professionals to make decisions, both now and in the future.

The call to action is to promote consideration that whilst Human Rights and laws are in place to protect people; both service users and staff providing care, sometimes measured risks can be included in decision making about what is in the best interests for somebody.

Greater consideration of the implications of accepting measured risks in peoples’ care could be one of the things that mean people’s aspirations play a bigger part in their on-going wellbeing.

Siobhan Rodley is currently working as Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Co-ordinator, promoting this issue to staff working on mental capacity.


“We are encouraging staff across our services to focus on Principal 3 MCA and talk about unwise decisions they may have made sometime in their life. This is about considering some critical reflection on risk and how we all as adults take them on a regular basis without having our capacity questioned.

“The idea is for staff in health and social care settings to consider the types of decisions they can and have made that ultimately did not lead to their capacity being questioned.

“In the MCA/DoLS team in Leeds we all have a duty to protect vulnerable adults and indeed those who lack capacity to make these decisions. However, we want to encourage staff to consider ‘unwise decisions’ and ensure just because a decision appears ‘unwise’ that this does not immediately assume a lack of capacity.

At the latest Leeds Adult Social Care Staff event, held at Pudsey Civic Hall last week, time was made for managers and staff to discuss the changing nature of social work, including what a ‘good life’ might generally mean to them and then to relate it to how shared decision making might increasingly play a part in helping people they work with have a good life.


This opportunity encouraged staff to think about unwise decisions they had made in their lives, to share them and consider the implications of the decisions on themselves and others.

It was good to talk, share and listen to different perspectives. That’s really what these staff events are about. Here are some of the things people shared about unwise decisions.






#unwisedecision is the tag being used on social media to involve and engage people in this call to action.

And……….. we ALL make unwise decisions – even those running the show!



What are your unwise decisions?

About betterlivesleeds

Health, social and age-related care services working together to make Leeds the best city for health and wellbeing
This entry was posted in Awareness, Carers, Choice, Dementia, Dignity in care, Independence, Information, Legislation, Mental Health, Safeguarding and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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