Qualification: Level 4 Certificate in Principles of Leadership and Management for Adult Care (RQF)
Unit: Unit 15: Risk-Taking and Risk Management in Adult Care
Learning outcome: 2 Understand issues around mental capacity and consent
Assessment criteria: 2.3 Explain the support available when mental capacity and the ability to give consent need to be assessed
- Mental Health Professionals: Psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals are often involved in the assessment of mental capacity. These professionals have training and experience in assessing mental capacity and can provide expert opinions.
- Social Workers: Social workers often play a key role in the assessment of mental capacity, particularly when there are complex issues around safeguarding or family dynamics.
- Advocacy Services: These organizations can provide an advocate to help the individual understand the process of assessment, express their views, and make sure their rights are respected.
- General Practitioners (GPs): They can provide support during a mental capacity assessment, as they usually have a good understanding of a person’s health and wellbeing.
- Legal Advice: Solicitors who specialize in mental health law can provide advice about the legal aspects of mental capacity and consent.
- Court of Protection: In cases where there is dispute or doubt over a person’s mental capacity, the case can be referred to the Court of Protection, which has the ultimate authority to decide whether a person has the capacity to make a particular decision.
- Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA): An IMCA is a specialist advocate who provides independent safeguards for people who lack capacity to make specific important decisions, including serious medical treatment and changes of accommodation, and who have no family or friends appropriate to consult on those decisions.
- Multi-disciplinary Teams: In many settings, a team of professionals from different disciplines (such as medicine, nursing, social work, psychology) will be involved in assessing a person’s mental capacity. This can provide a more holistic and comprehensive assessment.
- Training and Guidance: Various organizations provide training and guidance on the Mental Capacity Act and how to assess capacity. This can be a useful resource for professionals who are new to this area of practice.
- Family and Friends: With permission from the individual involved, family and friends can provide useful insight into the individual’s ability to make decisions, their past preferences, and their potential future wishes.
- Remember, any assessment of a person’s mental capacity must be done on a decision-by-decision basis, acknowledging that a person might have the capacity to make some decisions but not others. The person’s capacity might also fluctuate over time. The assessment must also be done in the person’s best interests. It is important to involve the person as much as possible in the assessment and to take their wishes and feelings into account.